THE EMOTIONAL CYCLE OF CHANGE

Success Factors

Change

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Be the change you want to see

Day changes into night and vice versa. We change from being students to being employees. Work practices change to ensure business stays relevant and successful. So considering change is pretty much a given state of affairs, so why is it uncomfortable?

The emotional cycle of change says, we usually start new things with excitement and enthusiasm, sometimes called uninformed optimism. Think about a small child being told they can have the stabilisers taken off their bike, they get all excited and start to imagine how fabulous it will be. The freedom and the feeling of being more grown up, combine to create wonderful anticipation.

The next stage is the worry about what might happen, sometimes called informed pessimism. Will it go right? Will I fall off? What if I look silly in front of people? All of which, creates a few nerves thinking about the leap and do something new.

The time comes and the stabilisers are off! We know inevitably, the child will have a wobble or worse a fall. Change takes time, to get used to it and become good at it. For the child this is a disaster, giving up and getting the stabilisers refitted, seems like a pretty good option - this is called the valley of despair. Hopefully, the child has someone who supports them and talks them through what they have done well and what they can do, to master this new thing. This gives the child new hope and determination to give it another go, knowing that falls will happen as part of this new skill. This is called informed optimism.

So with encouragement and support the child gets back on the bike. Maybe with someone running beside them will give confidence. Then the joy of mastering the new skill, riding without stabilisers. SUCCESS, this is the final stage of the emotional cycle of change.

While the child riding a bike might seem a million miles away from change at work, we go through the same emotions when faced with change, particularly when we might have the change imposed upon us rather than change we opted for. Knowing the emotional cycle of change, can help you understand your emotions. You will have a better chance of managing your feelings during the process and be right at the front for the new and exciting things coming your way.

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