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By Shawn Bakker

Nancy Barger and Linda Kirby have integrated type theory with William Bridges’ stages of transitions. They asked 2,000 workshop participants to respond to the following question, “What does each preference need during a time of change?” The responses provide some understanding of how people facing the same transition may have different needs.


  1. Time to talk about what is going on
  2. Involvement – they want something to do
  3. Communication, communication, communication
  4. To be heard – to have a voice
  5. Action, getting on with it, keeping up the pace


  1. Time alone to reflect on what is happening
  2. To be asked what they think
  3. Thought-out, written communication and one-on-one discussion
  4. Time to think things through before discussions and meetings
  5. Time to assimilate change before taking action


  1. Real data – why is the change occurring?
  2. Specifics about what exactly is to change
  3. Connections between the changes and the past
  4. Realistic pictures of the future that make plans real
  5. Clear guidelines on expectations, roles, and responsibilities


  1. The overall rationale – the global realities
  2. A general plan or direction to play around with and develop
  3. Chances to paint a picture of the future – to create a vision
  4. Options – a general direction, but not too much structure
  5. Opportunities to participate in designing the future


  1. Clarity in the decision making and the planning
  2. Demonstration that leadership is competent
  3. Fairness and equitability in the changes
  4. The logic – Why? What are the goals? What systemic changes will there be?


  1. Recognition of the impacts on people
  2. Demonstration that leadership cares
  3. Appreciation and support
  4. Inclusion of themselves and others in the planning and implementing on change
  5. Know how individuals’ needs will be dealt with


  1. A clear, concise plan of action
  2. Defined outcomes, clear goals
  3. A clear statement of priorities
  4. A time frame, with each stage spelled out
  5. No more surprises!


  1. An open-ended plan
  2. The general parameters
  3. Flexibility, with lots of options
  4. Information and the opportunity to gather more
  5. Loosen up, don’t panic, trust the process

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