The Kubler Ross Change Curve, based on the Kubler-Ross model of grief, focuses on the emotional inner journey that we personally experience when coping with transition and change.
Change is inevitable
Change is constant in life. Despite our best efforts, we can never avoid or escape change. It is one of the harshest truths of life that we need to accept.
However, when we are able to plan and prepare for change and develop strategies to deal with the transition effectively, we can experience positive outcomes. But despite the best laid plans and strategies, change can be difficult to accept, acknowledge, and incorporate.
“Change is an upsetting time for people as it can introduce a variety of uncertainty,” explains organizational consultant and change management expert Daniel Lock. Although it may be hard for most of us, our capability to understand and cope with the different stages of change is crucial. How we personally behave and react to the change is also critical.
The Kubler-Ross Change Curve is a model that enables us to adapt to change and navigate transitions. It can not only help us deal with change on a personal level, but it can also be effectively used by businesses to empower their workforce to manage change and succeed.
Daniel adds “Use Kubler-Ross’s research to understand how people navigate change. Building structures to help people move through change quickens the adaptation process as many people experience feelings of loss during the change.”
What is the Kubler-Ross Change Curve?
The Change Curve is derived from the Kübler-Ross model, also known as the Five Stages of Grief. It was originally developed in the 1960s by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross to show how terminally ill patients cope with their impending deaths. However, later the model was modified to depict how people deal with loss and grief
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross later proposed that this five-stage model can not only be used to understand how we cope with grief, but also any dramatic situation that can completely change our lives.
The Kubler-Ross Change Curve gained popularity among corporations and change management spheres by the 1980s.
It can enable us to understand how our emotions, performance, and productivity are affected by the declaration and implementation of a serious change.
Since its formation, the Kübler-Ross model or the Kubler-Ross Change Curve model has been extensively used by individuals and organizations to help people “understand their reactions to significant change or upheaval.”
Daniel Lock writes “The Kubler-Ross Change Curve is a paradigm for navigating the transitions,” between the initiation of a change and the reaching of a specific goal. He adds that many organizations utilize this model to gain knowledge about how most individuals navigate change.
He explains “Managing change in this context means understanding where people are along the change curve and helping them get from the death of the old ways to the birth of the new ways.”
Today the Kubler-Ross model holds true for anyone going through an extremely traumatic experience or other situations like work and business. The Kubler-Ross Change Curve model has been accepted worldwide to explain the change process. As the basic human emotions experienced during personal loss, change, death, or a dramatic experience remain the same, this model can be applied effectively in such situations.
Anastasia Belyh, the co-founder at Cleverism, explains “After the book, ‘Death and Dying’ was published, the concept or the model was widely accepted, and it was found that it was valid in a majority of cases and situations relating to change.”
The stages of change
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross conducted research on terminally ill patients for over two and a half years and the experience of dying. She evaluated and analyzed thousands of dying patients during her research and assimilated all her findings in her 1969 book ‘On Death and Dying’.