There are three predictable phases to any transition process, whether it’s a personal transition or massive change on an organizational level.
The three phases of transition are:
- Ending: Something has ended, something is over. We’re forced to let go of something we’re comfortable with. We feel a sense of loss, perhaps resistance, denial, anger, and more.
- Neutral Zone: This is the bridge between the old and the new. We’re not where we used to be and not yet where we expect/hope to be. There’s confusion, frustration, and disorientation. But the confusion can lead to creativity. We might start looking at things differently, see some new options.
- New Beginning: We start to embrace the change. We feel optimistic about the future, excited about a new way of being, about doing things differently. We have energy, feel a renewed commitment.
People experience these phrases and their accompanying emotions at different rates and in different ways. You can work to nudge the process along, but it’s important to allow time to work through each stage so the New Beginning is a positive move forward, with minimal encumbrances of the past.