transition The mental process of adjustment

A transition is the mental adjustment process we have to undergo as we experience changes. Insignificant changes often proceed without our noticing. More significant changes that affect us are accompanied by a more noticeable mental adjustment, in which immediate reactions such as resistance and unclarity during the adjustment period are replaced by acceptance and clarification.  

It is therefore quite normal for people to react when experiencing change. Reactions vary greatly from person to person, even if it is a group of colleagues that is experiencing the same change at their workplace.

Undergoing a transition can be resource-intensive, and will typically affect motivation and productivity at work, which can have both personal and economic costs. With the right support, the process can be focused, thus significantly minimising both time and resource consumption.

A transition is defined as consisting of the three zones: "stop", "adjust" and "start". We can move back and forth between zones, just as we also can progress through them at different rates.

Stop symbolises the zone in which we react spontaneously to the change. Regardless of whether the change is positive or negative, every significant change is accompanied by mental unclarity, when what we know and are accustomed to is going to be replaced by something new and unknown. The lack of clarity subsides as we move closer towards the start zone.

Adjust symbolises the state in which we mentally attempt to reach a state of clarification about the situation and its consequences. We have many considerations in all possible directions until clarity is re-established, and we are able to make a concrete decision about the future situation.

Start symbolises the condition where we have accepted a given change, have set the personal clarification process behind us and are mentally ready to work with current conditions and requirements. The focus here is now on action and on forward-looking performance.