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Navigating Change

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Change is inevitable but often unexpected. It presents opportunities for innovation and growth as well as failure. Outcomes are dependent on our preparedness and situational responses. For that reason, how can people and organizations execute desirable changes? Moreover, how do we react and adapt to unfavorable developments? The following change management concepts can help coaches create awareness and accelerate transformation efforts.

Understanding the Change Curve

The Kubler-Ross model notes that people undergo distinct emotional stages when they face a dramatic life event or change. The initial response is shock and denial; people refuse to accept reality. After that, they endure a period of anger and depression, experiencing frustration and lack of initiative. The final stage is acceptance and integration, which represents a turning point when people determine ways to operate differently and potentially reap the benefits of change.

Maintaining an awareness of these phases can help people cope with new situations. Specifically, they can begin integrating change sooner by learning a new skill. Companies can use the Kubler-Ross model to forecast productivity trends and support employees facing changes in the workplace. The support can include providing information about why change is needed, promoting honest and open communication, understanding what motivates employees, and providing additional training. This model refers primarily to unexpected and undesirable change, but how can people plan and execute positive changes, like beginning a new career or committing to a healthier lifestyle?

Prioritizing and Planning for Change

One key to achieving successful personal change is avoiding distractions and spending time on what matters most. The Eisenhower Matrix is a prioritization tool that sorts all tasks into four groups using two factors: urgency and importance. Urgent tasks demand immediate attention and have negative consequences if ignored. Important tasks are those that lead to achieving the desired goals or changes. The four groups are as follows:

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