Stuck in a State?

Stuck in a State?

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I’ve just completed the post-production edit on the the latest Effective Challenge Podcast – stuck in a state?

In this episode, I discuss my observations of the different states people can find themselves in as they look to make sustainable changes to their performance.  

I draw on work by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross who made observations about the states people go through when receiving a terminal diagnosis.  There are many examples where this work has been adapted to help individuals and organisations manage change.

I have my own version of the Kubler-Ross work which I have developed through observation when leading change with individuals, teams and organisations. In the podcast, I outline seven states people might need to navigate their way through and make the analogy that achieving sustainable change is more like a game of snakes and ladders than a neat process. I also encourage listeners to consider:

  1. The differences between enthusiasm and commitment.
  2. What emotional aspects might show up as you look to make a change and balance these with the often more obvious tangible elements like goals and plans. Where possible doing the emotional work up front to help avoid/mitigate the less helpful states towards the progress you want to see.
  3. If you are struggling to make a sustainable change which of the seven states described you could be in and what questions you could ask to help make the progress you desire.

You can get the podcast here or all major platforms.

I’m interested in any comments or observations you might have on this subject. Please drop me a line at

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