The Internal Reaction to Change

We have two ways of looking at and responding to change:


  • the change that happens in the outside world, and
  • the change that happens in our internal world

It is the internal reaction to external change that proves the most challenging area, and it is often in this area that we find the reasons why external changes or change programmes succeed or fail. And the research indicates that many change programmes fail.


Schools of Thought When Considering Individual Change

There are four key schools of thought when considering change at the individual level:


  • The behavioural change approach which is about changing the behaviour of employees through reward and punishment/consequences.
  • The cognitive change approach which is about achieving results through positive reframing, goal setting and coaching to achieve results
  • The psychodynamic change approach which is about understanding and relating to the inner world of change
  • The humanistic psychology change approach which is about believing in development and growth, and maximising potential.


Factors Affecting an Individuals Change-Ability

Everyone is different and thus, everyone will experience and react to change differently.
We know that an individual’s personality is a key factor in whether they initiate change or not and how they react to change.
Therefore, in working with individuals and teams through change, it is useful to identify and discuss people’s personality types. It helps everyone to see their own personality types and those of others, to understand their own responses to change and how other people differ from them.
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