Boy, how many times have we felt THAT? There are those reading this right now that doesn’t think there is any way I am talking to them. Guess what? Hey you, yeah you’re the one I am talking to right after I remove myself from in front of the mirror where I have given myself a little pep-talk!
I have signed up for a 3-part webinar titled, Everyone Ready! (ER) Managing Change (and Dealing with Resistance to It!). This webinar is more geared to volunteers but can be applied to every area of our life. So far, I’ve only attended part 1, but the information given has really provoked me to pause and think of things in my own life and how that change is perceived and dealt with on all levels. Whether I am affected by a change or I am the one directly responsible for the change.
Professionally speaking, I recently took a promotion and as management, I cause change but personally speaking I am also in a position where I have to deal with change. My youngest child, my only son, will turn 18 years old in May and just a few days later will graduate from high school. Hopefully on his way to college and serving our country upon graduation but there is also the possibility that he will follow in his father’s footsteps and join the military right out of high school while pursuing his college degree. So there is a change I will have to deal with. MY empty nest (I will still have a 14-year old step-son so we won’t totally be empty nesters…smile). How will I navigate my way?
Professor Ronald Lippitt, a behavioral scientist, identified seven stages of change that people move through when faced with a new situation. This was in the late 1950’s and I don’t see where it has changed at all. Lippett confirmed that everyone moves through the change process at different paces; sometimes revisiting a stage more than once or maybe even skipping one or two. Here they are:
1. The shock stage – no way!
2. The disbelief stage – really? Are you sure?
3. The guilt stage – am I the reason for the change?
4. The projection stage – sometimes called the “blame game”, if it wasn’t for this or that…
5. The rationalization stage – trying to figure out why the change
6. The integration stage – okay, so I’ll try it…sometimes reluctantly
7. The acceptance or rejection stage – smiles or temper tantrums!
I know you have heard about these “stages of change”. Whether it is something like PCSing for the 10th time!, a deployment, a reunion, a job change, a family change, or unfortunately something tragic like sickness, disease or death. We all have to deal with change. It is difficult to recognize these changes for ourselves but it should help you meet the needs of those around you.
And, let’s face it, this military life is ALL about being there for one another! I think we do a pretty awesome job.