Change is inevitable, yet for some it can be quite traumatic and unsettling.
When there is too much change too quickly, people can feel lost, disheartened and angry.
Leaders need to be able to aware of the various emotions people go through when embarking on change, and respond to these appropriately. The figure below shows the various stages and related experiences through a change process. At each stage there are specific deliberate acts of leadership the leader can do to support their people and mitigate huge upset.
One of the key aspects that is often overlooked through change management is preparing people emotionally for the dip they might experience. This may mean speaking with them about what they might experience and providing strategies and supports for them before the change is initiated. In this way you are proactively preparing them for the change, rather than letting them experience the highs and lows without strategies and support.
The key then is that before any change process occurs, consider what emotional competencies people will need to draw-upon, and provide strategies, skills and support beforehand so they are able to meet the challenge with confidence. Maybe they need to know how to have a critical conversation when conflict arises, they may even need to develop their collaboration skills. Teaching these skills prior to the change process beginning can set them up for success.
So will you leave it to chance as to how many people you will bring-along with you through a change process? Or will you actively plan for change and prepare your people for the dip before they reach it?