Andy Lopata and I examine the emotional and psychological issues people face during major life changes. I share insights from my experience and introduce how the Fisher curve maps the journey individuals undertake during change, considering the impact on identity and emotional well-being.

We discuss the significance of understanding where individuals are in the change process to manage conversations effectively and explore the stages of the curve, beginning with anxiety and anticipation, progressing through fear, threat, and guilt, and culminating in anger, confusion, and apathy. Highlighting the unique and subjective nature of the curve, with individuals experiencing varying depths and durations of each stage.

I cover the importance of constructivist psychology, where understanding the world through another person’s eyes is key to effective interaction. Our conversation touches on conflict resolution, the stages of grief in the bereavement curve and the impact of change on an individual’s sense of identity.

We also explore the nuanced aspects of organisational change and leadership. The focus centres on the involvement of external coaches in the change process, emphasising the delicate balance between delegating responsibility and maintaining accountability as a leader.

A critical point here is about the necessity of trusting relationships with coaches and that leaders must discern when to abdicate responsibility, especially in situations where their presence may hinder the change process.

The conversation continues with reflections on the challenges of being honest during periods of uncertainty, emphasising the importance of trust and vulnerability in leadership using real-world examples, including the experience of business leaders and the impact of transparent communication on building trust.

Lastly we explore the complexities of authentic leadership, acknowledging that wearing a metaphorical mask may be necessary in certain situations to provide the team with the stability they need and discuss the emotional toll on leaders during challenging times and the power of vulnerability in building strong team dynamics.

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