The Coronavirus pandemic has brought a heightened level of change and we’re all getting used to a new normal, writes Donnie Dhillon, a London-based results coach who works with business leaders to improve productivity.
Mr Dhillon sees considerable similarities between the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic and the emotions people and families go through if a tragic event leads to a period of grief.
Reactions to the crisis follow a a well-known change model in business know as ‘The Change Curve’ which shows how we, as individuals, react emotionally to major disruptive change.
Developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s through her work on the Grief Cycle, The Change Curve identifies seven typical stages people go through when faced with change:
Stage 1. Shock: change is coming – “I can’t believe it”
Stage 2. Denial: defensive energy results in a temporary improvement in performance and mood – “It’s ok, it’s just the flu”
Stage 3. Anger: change is still happening – “What do you mean I can’t go outside?”
Stage 4. Bargaining: to try and prevent the change – “Ok, I can keep my distance, but can I still sunbathe in the park?”
Stage 5. Depression & Confusion: leads to the lowest point in terms of energy & morale – “This is real, what am I going to do?”
Stage 6. Acceptance: change is accepted, and the individual resolves to face the future – “We can do this, does anyone need help?”
Stage 7. Problem Solving: plan how they will adapt to the new situation – “How can I play a part in the future?”
It is important to note that this is not necessarily a linear process, so you can still get angry having reached a level of acceptance.
Another interesting study was shared anonymously online, and gives a similar analysis of the process many people are working through.
The final stage on the Grief Cycle is Problem Solving, and this has similarities to the Growth Zone of a graphic on working through the Covid-19 crisis.
This is a positive area for businesses to reach, and suggests we will see considerable and lasting changes to entrenched practices as we emerge from lock down.