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Change Keynote Speaker, William Bridges Outlines Stages of Change

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 @ 05:33 PM

leadership and change motivational speakerAt a recent conference I was reminded of leadership and change management speaker William Bridges ( picture left) and the stages he suggests you need to go through to embrace change.


Poorly managed change harms leadership more than helps. Some of the immediate issues that arise:

  • it increases stress and absenteeism
  • decreases morale

 Leadership and Change Management  Motivational speaker and expert  William Bridges, is one of the foremost  speakers on how to thrive in change.

Bridges distinguishes between change and transition. Change deals with tangibles in the external situation and it focuses on outcomes. Transition is the process that involves an internal re-orientation which requires time and patience.

At a recent volunteer leaders' administrative professionals conference, the afternoon keynote speaker Magda Rigo did a wonderful job reviewing Bridges's research.

She suggested that when it comes to change, complaining can be good, but it's the quiet ones that you have to worry about.

The major point I took away from her motivational speech was that you need to end the way it 'used to be' before you can embrace anything new.  The  volunteer leaders' speaker related ending a situation or process to dying. The old you must die in order to make room for the new. It sound dramatic but when I think of any change I realize this is the hardest part: The struggle to let go of the past before we can embrace the future.

Leadership and change management guru and motivational speaker,  William Bridges suggests to help make the change management process smooth you must:

  • Identify where people are in the transition process by observing words, actions and losses
  • Implement strategies for endings and losses
  • Have leadership and change strategies for getting people through the neutral zone
  • Implement stategies for new beginnings

HR and Leadership can determine where people are in the transition process by observing the words they use.

Stages of Change:

  • Words used when people are in denial are: This won't affect me or This is no big deal
  • Words used when people are dealing with 'ending': This is crazy, This is stupid, Who thought this up or I just don't care anymore, Whatever.
  • Words used when people are in the neutral zone: Sometimes I just don't know which way is up or How did we ever decide to do this?
  • Words used when people are in New Beginnings: Oh, I get it now or I feel like myself again or This isn't so bad.

For more leadership and change tools, hr keynote speakers or meeting planners resources check out our learning resources

Tags: leadership and change, conference, Leadership and Change management motivational spea, hr motivationa speaker

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