The Cycle of Acceptance – Leading to Personal Transition and Organisational Change

The Cycle of Acceptance is a predictable cycle most people and organisations go through upon receipt of very bad news – like a worldwide pandemic maybe?


Entering the cycle is unavoidable. How long it takes a business to complete the cycle is critical. The longer they’re in it, the less likely they will ever fully complete the cycle and the less likely they will be able to deal with the problem wisely.


So this is exciting… We have a crystal ball…


Let’s explore the cycle – the change curve – focusing on personal transition and organisational change


Stage One – Denial

The refusal to accept facts – yeah that’s a shame for China… do you think it’s just the media though? Can we even trust the Chinese media to report the facts?

This is a natural defence mechanism that we all experience.


Stage Two – Anger

Our frustration can manifest in many ways… Shall we go and attack anything to do with 5G anyone?! Its china – chhhhhina (read in a Donald Trump fashion).

Emotional upset flares up into aggression when we are unable to detach ourselves from the issue.


Stage Three – Bargaining

Negotiating a compromise and altering behaviour is a way of bargaining that many people opt for as a means to clinging to a situation instead of working towards a better resolution.

For instance, The PM suggesting we adhere to social distancing in order to avoid facing the reality of potential lockdown. Bargaining generally buys time before having to face the inevitable.


Stage Four – Depression

Depression is a stage that does not necessarily affect everyone. Depression however, does affect a great number of people on many different levels. It is a way of coping that means an individual remains attached emotionally and will require the exploration of fear, sadness, regret and uncertainty. Wellbeing at work is definitely going to be high on the agenda – so if you have a great product or service for this it will be needed, including Skye Wellbeing ( and Happy Maven ( – two of our lovely clients.


Stage Five – Acceptance

Reaching acceptance means that you have been able to work through it.

  • What will my job be now?
  • How do I use this new machine or computer software?

The amount of time that reaching this stage takes will vary from person to person and company to company – let’s face it pubs will take longer to bounce back than a PPE supplier! As there is less impact and change to digest. Companies that already work remotely and at home should have already got the technology part nailed.


Stage Six – Solutions and Problem Solving

People not only accept the changes but also start to embrace them. They begin to rebuild their ways of working. Only when people get to this stage can the organisation really start to reap the benefits of change.

Learnings can now be captured through a review process and feed into the next cycle of change. Individuals have a greater awareness of how to respond to change and begin to build the personal development aspects of this. This stage is the one you have been waiting for! This is where the changes start to become second nature, and people embrace the improvements to the way they work. It’s coming people, IT’S COMING!!


This blog is a transcribe of Episode 5 of The Golden Nugget vlog series – if you have missed any or want to see Hannah’s Donald Trump impression head over to our YouTube channel.

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