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    Oct 10, 2019    |   Psychometrics Canada

Leading Others Through the Stages of Change

Written by Shawn Bakker, Lead Psychologist


Most people enjoy change – when they get to choose it. Think of how many people renovate their homes, buy new clothes, try different activities and go on vacation to new places. The changes people don’t like are the ones that are foisted upon them, where they have little input or control. In organizations it is common for leaders to be choosing the changes, and in doing so find the process exciting and motivating; while for employees it means shifting to a new way of doing things, and finding the experience to be stressful and vague.

As leaders it is important to recognize that you have three things that your employees do not:

  • Time
  • Information
  • Control

When you are leading change, you have likely spent significant time analyzing a lot of data, and control when action is taken. Your employees have not had the same amount of time to consider the change, they often don’t have access to all the information that you have, and they often have little control over when and how the change is implemented. By having more time, information and control, a leader’s experience of change is always going to be different from that of those reporting to them. To effectively lead change, you must consider the psychology of those involved.

We recently conducted research on how effectively Canadian organizations manage the four broad stages of change. This is percentage of organizations that rate themselves as effectively managing each stage:

How effectively do Canadian organizations manage the four stages of change?

Figure 1. Percentage of organizations that rate themselves as effectively managing each stage of change (2019)

These findings indicate that organizations are most effective at recognizing when change is required, but struggle in doing it effectively. By considering how to provide more time, information and control to a larger group of stakeholders, you will see improvements in planning, implementing and sustaining change. This is of course a leadership activity, which is why you need to make sure that you are leading, not managing, change.


Learn more about The Psychology of Change by registering for our complimentary seminar in:

Edmonton – November 19, 2019 | 8:00 – 9:00 am

Toronto – November 26, 2019 | 8:00 – 9:00 am

Mississauga – November 26, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Register here