5 stages of anger
The Stages of Grief: Accepting the Unacceptable
June 8, 2020
Posted by Caitlin Stanaway, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist, UWCC
The pandemic has impacted our routines, social lives, school, work, and more. It has caused the loss of lives around the globe, as well as the loss of normalcy. The recent death of George Floyd has put police brutality, murders of Black and Brown people, racial and social injustice into the spotlight. There are many losses to grieve amidst the intensity of civil unrest, on top of more typical stressors like taking finals and looking for a job.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed the five stages of grief in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. Grief is typically conceptualized as a reaction to death, though it can occur anytime reality is not what we wanted, hoped for, or expected.
Persistent, traumatic grief can cause us to cycle (sometimes quickly) through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. These stages are our attempts to process change and protect ourselves while we adapt to a new reality. While there are consistent elements within each stage, the process of grieving looks different for everyone.
When you combine experiences of stress and trauma to grief, it is overwhelming. It takes a toll on our mental and physical health. Our minds and bodies are consistently being impacted by the stress response, a nervous system reaction to feeling threatened. It triggers the release of adrenaline and cortisol, impacting sleep, appetite, making it difficult to function at your best.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression may develop, as well as trauma symptoms like intrusive thoughts, nightmares, feeling disconnected from self. Trauma related to racial injustice is chronic. Resources for Black healing, including crisis support, self-care, and reducing cortisol levels in response to racial stressors can be found here.
Being aware of the grief stages and how you uniquely experience them can increase self-understanding and compassion. It can help you better understand your needs and prioritize getting them met.
|can look like:||can feel like:|
|easily distracted||shutting down|
|keeping busy all the time|
|thinking/saying, “I’m fine” or “it’s fine”|
|can look like:||can feel like:|
|being aggressive or passive-aggressive||rage|
|getting into arguments or physical fights||feeling out of control|
|increased alcohol or drug use|
|can look like:||can feel like:|
|ruminating on the future or past||guilt|
|over-thinking and worrying||shame|
|comparing self to others||blame|
|predicting the future and assuming the worst||fear, anxiety|
|thinking/saying, “I should have…” or ”If only…”|
|judgment toward self and/or others|
|can look like:||can feel like:|
|sleep and appetite changes||sadness|
|reduced social interest||helplessness|
|increased alcohol or drug use||overwhelmed|
|can look like:||can feel like:|
|mindful behaviors||“good enough”|
|engaging with reality as it is||courageous|
|“this is how it is right now”||validation|
|being present in the moment||self-compassion|
|able to be vulnerable & tolerate emotions||pride|
|assertive, non-defensive, honest communication||wisdom|
|adapting, coping, responding skillfully|
Generally, if we are not in the stage of acceptance then we are in some way fighting against or avoiding reality. We might start sleeping more. Our mood or anxious thoughts might become the focus of attention, distracting from external stressors. We might use alcohol or drugs to avoid or disconnect from reality. We might keep our focus on tasks, responsibilities, or the needs of others – staying busy as much as possible to avoid feeling distress.
Acceptance doesn’t mean not experiencing distress, emotions or trauma. It does not mean you condone what is happening. It means noticing what you are fighting against, validating your desire to fight against it, and re-orienting yourself to the reality of the moment you are in. It means not getting stuck, or getting un-stuck, from other stages. Mindfulness and a non-judgmental, curious attitude can be a big help.
Acceptance might look like saying to yourself: “If I sleep too long today I’ll keep sleeping through the mornings. I’m going to prioritize getting my schedule regulated.” It might look like noticing: “I’m directing my anger and sadness about what’s going on toward myself and ruminating on self-criticisms. I’ll acknowledge my anger and what it’s really about.” Or reflecting, “how could I not be angry about ___? Who wouldn’t be anxious about ___? Of course it’s extremely hard to accept ___”; It might look like checking in on yourself: “If I keep neglecting my own needs and focusing on work/others, I’ll end up feeling burned out and exhausted. I’ll take time to assess how I’m doing and what I need.”
It is rare to move through the stages in a linear way. It is normal to experience ups and downs in mood, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. It can be difficult maintaining acceptance while things feel so unacceptable.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by grief, loss, trauma you do not have to go through it alone. The Counseling Center can offer culturally-sensitive support and guidance through the grieving process.
Five Stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kubler Ross & David Kessler
A Message from David Kessler
I was privileged to co-author two books with the legendary, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, as well as adapt her well-respected stages of dying for those in grief. As expected, the stages would present themselves differently in grief. In our book, On Grief and Grieving we present the adapted stages in the much needed area of grief. The stages have evolved since their introduction and have been very misunderstood over the past four decades. They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss.
The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss. At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is an unique as you are.
Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
In this groundbreaking new work, David Kessler—an expert on grief and the coauthor with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross of the iconic On Grief and Grieving—journeys beyond the classic five stages to discover a sixth stage: meaning.
In this book, Kessler gives readers a roadmap to remembering those who have died with more love than pain; he shows us how to move forward in a way that honors our loved ones. Kessler’s insight is both professional and intensely personal. His journey with grief began when, as a child, he witnessed a mass shooting at the same time his mother was dying. For most of his life, Kessler taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about end of life, trauma, and grief, as well as leading talks and retreats for those experiencing grief. Despite his knowledge, his life was upended by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son.
How does the grief expert handle such a tragic loss? He knew he had to find a way through this unexpected, devastating loss, a way that would honor his son. That, ultimately, was the sixth state of grief—meaning. In Finding Meaning, Kessler shares the insights, collective wisdom, and powerful tools that will help those experiencing loss. Read More
DENIAL Denial is the first of the five stages of grief™️. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface.
ANGERAnger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died. Suddenly you have a structure – – your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing.We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.
BARGAININGBefore a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.
DEPRESSIONAfter bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone? Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing. The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.
ACCEPTANCEAcceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing. In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact. It has been forever changed and we must readjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves. Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.
Learn More About The Five Areas of Grief
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Books About the Five Stages by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler
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Stages of accepting the inevitable: what are they and how to survive them. And how to help them survive a loved one. Psychologists advise
Updated November 16, 2022, 10:53
Each person copes with difficult circumstances in their own way. One way to get through a difficult life period is to go through all the stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, according to psychologists, in practice this model is not so unambiguous. There is no single recipe. But there are ways to help yourself and loved ones during this difficult time. RBC Life talked to psychologists and found out the details. nine0003
- How We Accept the Inevitable
- The Stages of Acceptance
- 5 Tips
- How to Help a Loved One
How We Accept the Inevitable
The inevitable is unforeseen events of varying degrees of drama: illness, separation, layoffs, accidents, death of relatives and friends. During a lifetime, a person can experience such difficult situations several times - and not always the range of emotions will be the same. For example, while one will hide his head in the sand and refuse to make any decisions, the other may completely evade reality - there are many scenarios. Be that as it may, psychologists are unanimous: all these reactions are normal, since in a similar way the human psyche is looking for ways to protect itself and save itself. nine0003
One way to get through a difficult situation is to accept it. From an emotional point of view, this does not at all mean “to approve or support what happened.”
Acceptance is the recognition of a new objective reality as it is. To be at this point, a person needs time - for everyone it is different.
In psychology, there are at least ten models that describe the process of acceptance. Here are some of the more common examples.
- Sigmund Freud's theory of grief. nine0010 The psychoanalyst saw the acceptance process as follows: breaking the connection, adjusting to new life circumstances and building new relationships .
- Stages of acceptance by Kübler-Ross . The most well-known theory of the five stages of acceptance is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Often this model is perceived as linear, that is, a person sequentially goes through each of the stages. But Kübler-Ross herself noted that this is not her statement and that each individual stage may manifest itself in different ways or be completely absent . nine0014
- Model of two processes Strebe and Schut. An example of a cyclic model in which a person seems to fluctuate between two states: recognizing the loss and experiencing pain, moving away from emotions and resolving practical issues caused by what is lost. These two processes are cyclically repeated, gradually healing the person .
- Six R Teresa Rando. Named after the first letter of each stage: Recognize, React to the separation, Recollect and re-experience, Relinquish old attachments, Readjust ) and reinvestment of emotional energy, the beginning of a new life (Reinvest) . nine0014
- Scott and Japhy Curve . In this model, experiences occur along a U-shaped trajectory. The high point at the beginning is characterized by almost manic denial, shock and anger, the low point by despair and depression, the high point at the end of the curve is a recovery of energy and morale. This approach is predominantly focused on accepting events before they happen. For example, an impending dismissal or something else that does not depend on us .
Psychologists agree that it is often easier for the psyche of a person faced with severe grief or something inevitable to accept and experience something structured. “In modern practices, the Kubler-Ross stage model continues to be applied,” says Luiza Istomina, a medical psychologist at the European Medical Center. - It is used as a kind of support, helping to understand the principle of processes that replace each other. However, there is not enough empirical evidence to support or refute it. But, if it’s easier for you to accept what happened, you can focus on these stages. ” nine0003
A person unconsciously rejects events and begins to doubt them. For example, the laboratory mixed up the tests that confirmed a fatal illness, or the death of a loved one was reported by mistake.
Luiza IstominaMedical psychologist at the European Medical Center
“This state can last from a few seconds to several weeks, on average, by the seventh or ninth day, gradually changing to another. At this time, it is more important than ever to maintain your usual lifestyle: adhere to the sleep and wakefulness regimen, monitor nutrition, devote time to physical activity, and follow a daily routine. You can make a list of activities and activities that help relieve psycho-emotional stress: knitting, drawing, listening to music. It will be useful to use Mindfulness awareness techniques, since at the stage of denial a person may experience a feeling of detachment from the world, stupor, insensitivity. nine0003
As soon as the denial and shock begin to fade, feelings that the person has previously suppressed come out.
Anger and anger at the moment of grief or a disturbing event is a natural reaction. Even if it seems that anger and anger are endless, these emotions will still dissipate - and the more you truly feel them, the faster this will happen . At this stage, a person may have thoughts like “why me and not someone else?” or "life isn't fair. " Redirecting anger to others is dysfunctional behavior. nine0003
At this stage, as psychologists note, physical activity and sports will be especially useful. For example, Luiza Istomina recommends trying muscle relaxation techniques - Schulz's autogenic training or Ost's applied relaxation.
When something bad happens, a person can start an internal bargaining, promising to change something in himself and his life in order to improve the situation. Also at this stage, reasoning can torment, for example: "If I had left the house five minutes earlier, the accident would not have happened." nine0003
To make it easier to pass this stage, it is useful to know about one non-obvious phenomenon. It turns out that it is easier for the psyche to accept the fact that a person is to blame and he could change something. This is a kind of trick of the psyche in response to a shock event. And this is worth remembering. In reality, such an attempt to bargain with oneself is nothing more than distortion and false hope.
To understand that what happened is not your fault, try to understand the reasons for what happened. If it is a disease, study it in more detail. Having read the necessary literature and received the necessary information, one can come to the conclusion that it was simply impossible to influence the course of treatment and its outcome. nine0003
Depression is the emptiness that a person feels when realizing that life will no longer be the same, for example, due to a sudden change in circumstances or loss. This is a phase of acute grief that lasts six to seven weeks from the onset of a tragic event. This is a period of despair and disorganization.
“At this step, separation begins, detachment from the object of loss, there is a gradual entry into reality, which will then allow you to combine the image of the lost, which remained in the past, with life in the present. At this stage, destructive and self-destructive coping strategies - dangerous behavior, the use of psychoactive substances, self-harm, the emergence of anti-vital and suicidal thoughts will be alarm bells. Support from loved ones and professional advice will help here. ” nine0003
At this point the emotions begin to stabilize as the person finally comes to terms with the fact that the new reality will now be different. In essence, we acknowledge the changes that have taken place. But this does not mean that a person evaluates them positively, just now you can live with it. To make it easier to move from depression to acceptance, you can try to learn constructive grief coping skills.
“Try writing down a negative automatic thought followed by cognitive restructuring (CBT approach). Example: “I can’t deal with this pain” is changed to “I have had suffering in my life, and I was able to cope with it, I need to give myself time.” Cognitive disconnection techniques (ACT-approach) can be applied. We track the depressive thought “My life will not be the same” and put it in a larger frame: “I have a thought that my life will not be the same. ” nine0003
The commit process may have some backtracking. It's demotivating and can be intimidating. However, it is possible to find ways to deal with regression.
In order to experience regression, according to Albina Borisenko, a psychotherapist in the ORCT approach (solution-oriented short-term therapy), a specialist in the Alter psychological platform, one can turn to an example with a metaphor. To do this, it is necessary to imagine that the process of acceptance is a kind of path: a road, a path or a ladder. nine0003
Albina Borisenkopsychotherapist in the ORCT approach, specialist in the psychological platform Alter
“Standing at some point on this path, you can turn around and see how far you have already traveled. To regress is only to take a step or a few steps back along a path that has already been traveled. That is, to be where you already were. So, you already absolutely know exactly how to move on and what can help. It is somewhat reminiscent of a computer game, where the completed levels are clear and understandable, and going through them again is not so scary, despite the difficulties that we know about. That means you're already on your way." nine0003
5 tips for accepting the inevitable
Each of us is individual, so the same advice for someone will be healing, and for someone - absolutely useless. But each of us can listen to ourselves and understand what will help here and now. Here is what experts , ,  advise.
1. Allow yourself to be sad
Expression of emotions can be an important part of the acceptance process. Don't judge yourself or compare yourself to others. Everyone mourns differently. If you suddenly feel like crying, give yourself that opportunity. There are many ways to express emotions: you can hit a punching bag or a ball for a healthy release of anger, or turn to creativity. For example, download a mobile application for music and art therapy. At the same time, write down all your feelings, experiences and thoughts in a diary. Over time, you will be able to see how your grief changes. nine0003
2. Ask for help
“Man is a social animal, and it is objectively difficult for us to survive without society,” says psychologist Borisenko. - Talking to a doctor, people in a support group, a relative or trusted friend can be a big help in a moment of grief. Don't be afraid to ask others for help and support. No, you will not be intrusive and will not lay responsibility on someone: a person always has the right to refuse. At the same time, you can always make a request – this is normal and part of human communication.” nine0003
The same applies to offers of assistance. Do not rush to refuse if someone close to you decides to help you with house cleaning, grocery shopping or laundry. It won't make you weaker.
3. Look after your health
Get regular exercise, eat as healthy as possible, and make sure you get enough sleep. Avoid excessive use of alcohol and other psychotropic substances. All this can not only contribute to the deterioration of mental health, but also directly affect your safety. For example, avoid self-driving and other potentially dangerous activities during times of intense emotion. nine0003
4. Set small goals
Do not try to do everything at once - set small goals that are easy to achieve. “Make a list of different and most insignificant things: a cup of coffee in the morning, your favorite TV series or a walk in the park. Write down each item on how it helps the healing. Then, looking from the outside, you can see how much you do for yourself every day and how much more you can do,” says Albina Borisenko.
Also try to refrain from making major decisions, such as moving, for a while. But if this is inevitable, then, on the advice of a psychologist, the following technique will help. nine0003
“You shouldn't think about moving as one big act “I'm moving”. This is too big a step and therefore frightening. "I'm moving" consists of a lot of tiny steps: "I weigh the pros and cons," "I talk to my family," "I look at the list of required documents," and so on.
5. Stay Connected
Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays associated with a deceased person can cause a strong sense of grief. But do not completely cross out these days from your life. Celebrate a memorable date by lighting candles, meeting with family, or raising funds for charity. Simple rituals will maintain a sense of connection and emphasize that you continue to respect and appreciate the relationship that was. Keep a diary or write a letter to the person you have lost on an important date for both of you. nine0003
How to help a loved one accept the inevitable
Some research suggests that the amount and quality of social support can affect the well-being of those who are grieving. The support of a loved one going through painful events can be critical to acceptance. But how to do it right? Here are some tips from experts .
1. Call a spade a spade
Do not be afraid, for example, to mention the name of a dead person or to talk about a situation the person is going through. This will avoid the unpleasant feeling that, for example, a loved one who has passed away is forever erased from memory. In such a situation, it is better to note that you will be bored than to say formally: "I'm sorry about the loss." nine0003
2. Give practical help
Do not ask how you can help, but act. Cook dinner, buy groceries, clean the house of the person you want to help. For many people, such as those who have lost a spouse, getting used to planning and living alone can be a big challenge.
3. Avoid annoying phrases
If you ask a grieving person how things are going, the answer is obviously "Bad." Instead, you can ask, “How are you feeling today?” Also, on the advice of experts, for some time it is better to refrain from the phrases “this is the will of God / the Universe / life” or “this is for the best”, until the person who has lost loved ones says it first. nine0003
4. Be a good listener
Listen carefully, but do not give advice or judge. Perhaps, on the path of acceptance, you will have to listen to your loved one the story of loss dozens of times in the smallest detail. Don't stop the person, as talking through the situation is one way to get through it. Do not rush to give advice, especially if you are not asked for it. Often the one who mourns wants one thing - to simply be heard. Don't rush things. May your loved one recover at their own pace. But if the depression has lingered or you notice disturbing changes in the behavior and thoughts of a loved one, be sure to consult with a specialist about what help can be provided in this case. nine0003
5. Respect others' grief
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone does it in their own way. A person experiencing grief will have emotional ups and downs for a while. This is a normal part of the grieving process. Don't try to fix it, much less condemn the mourner. Think about how you can help a person smooth out these fluctuations, for example, with the help of creativity. Offer to sign up for art classes, dance classes, or simply spend more time doing something creative together. nine0003
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5 stages of making the inevitable, changes and management decisions ⋆ NewrealGoal
5 stages of the inevitable, changes and managerial decisions
Previously than you change, something incredibly important to you must be in jeopardy.
Richard Bach. Messiah Pocket Guide
Most of us face change with fear. The new reality - whether it is a change in the company's strategy, pay systems, planned layoffs - causes us concern, as well as an unexpected diagnosis, which was revealed during a routine preventive examination. The "degree" of emotions, of course, is different, but their spectrum is almost the same. From the initial shock: "No, this can't happen to me!" before accepting the inevitability: "Well, you need to start living differently." Why is that? nine0003
This is quite understandable by human nature. Changes threaten us with various losses:
- situation control;
- career opportunities;
- social connections;
- workplace etc.
And to losses, even potential ones, people react primarily emotionally, including protective mechanisms.
This basic defense mechanism is well known as the 5 stages of response to change by E. Kübler-Ross. An eminent psychologist once described in her cult book "On Death and Dying" ("On Death and Dying", 1969) emotional reactions of seriously ill and dying people, and identified 5 key stages of emotional response: the need to adapt to the new reality. In a sense, change is the death of the status quo. As Anatole France wrote: “ Every change, even the most desired one, has its own sadness, for what we part with is part of ourselves. One must die to one life in order to enter another.” nine0239
Let's look at the behavior of people and the possible actions of management at each stage.
At the initial stage of denial, people are usually afraid that the changes will be negative for them personally : “The company may need this, but I don’t need it! I have stable and familiar responsibilities.” Denial can manifest itself in the fact that:
- people do not come to the meetings devoted to the change project, under any convenient pretext; nine0014
- they do not participate in discussions;
- they are indifferent or demonstratively busy with routine bureaucratic duties.
What can be done at this stage:
- provide as much information as possible through various communication channels about the goals and reasons for the changes;
- give people time to understand the changes;
- stimulate discussion and participation of people.
It is at this stage that it is important to understand that anger in people is caused not by changes in themselves, but by0249 losses that they carry with them: “This is not fair! No! I can't accept it!"
As a result, employees at this stage may:
- endlessly complain instead of working;
- fall into accusations and criticism;
- get irritated more than usual, cling to trifles.
In fact, openly expressed anger indicates people's involvement, and that's a good thing! This is an opportunity for managers to let employees "let off steam" of strong emotions, and, at the same time, to analyze the expressed skepticism and doubts - they may not be unfounded. nine0003
Some suggestions at this stage:
- first listen to people, without trying to dissuade them, acknowledge their feelings;
- suggest ways to make up for losses that employees fear, such as additional training, retraining, flexible hours, etc. ;
- encourage people to channel their work energy into change instead of criticism and idle talk;
- stop outright sabotage, but do not respond with aggression for aggression.
This is an attempt to delay the inevitable. We try to “make a deal” with management or with ourselves to delay change or find a way out of the situation: “If I promise to do this, will you not allow these changes in my life?” For example, an employee starts working overtime in an attempt to avoid an upcoming layoff.
Bargaining is a sign that people are already starting to look towards the future . They have not yet parted with their fears, but are already looking for new opportunities and are negotiating. nine0003
It is very important here:
- to direct people's energy in a positive direction, not to reject their ideas;
- encourage brainstorming, strategic sessions;
- help employees evaluate their careers and opportunities in a new way.
If the previous stage has a negative outcome, people will be in a state of depression, depression, uncertainty about the future and lack of energy: “Why try? It won't do any good anyway." In this case, by depression we mean a defensive reaction, not a mental disorder. nine0003
Signs of depression in the company are:
- general mood of apathy;
- increase in sick leave and absences from work;
- staff turnover increase.
Tasks at this stage:
- acknowledge existing difficulties and problems;
- eliminate remaining fears, doubts and indecision;
- help people get out of depression, support any attempt at action, and provide positive feedback; nine0014
- show employees a personal example of involvement in the change project;
Although this is the final stage, leaders need to understand that acceptance does not necessarily mean agreement. People understand that further resistance is pointless, and begin to assess the prospects: “Okay, it's time to work. Let's think about possible options and solutions." Often, acceptance comes after the first short-term results. You can see the manifestations of this stage in the fact that employees:
- willing to learn new things;
- invest in making change work;
- feel involved and involve others.
To achieve results at this stage it is necessary to:
- reinforce and reinforce new behaviors;
- reward for success and achievement;
- develop and set new goals.
Of course, in reality, people do not always go through all stages sequentially. Moreover, not everyone comes to the stage of acceptance. But leaders and leaders of change in organizations who are aware of these emotional dynamics have a number of advantages:
- understand that resistance is normal.
- realize at what stage of resistance people are, and what reactions can be expected further.