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D x V x F > R and the Stages of #Change

July 4th, 2011 Posted in Change Tags: , , ,

I think you will spend 141 seconds reading this post

Reading again about this formula for change, it occurred to me that there’s a strong parallel with the stages of changes I recently posted about.

The formula goes this way: D x V x F > R where

  • D = Dissatisfaction with current situation
  • V = Vision for a preferred future as compared to current situation
  • F = First steps to do to start the change
  • R = natural Resistance to change

So, for any change to occur, all elements needs to be superior to zero or the change will simply not be possible.

The link I did with Stages of Change is in the order of the factors in the formula. Indeed, the initial stages of changes are:

  • Pre-contemplation stage where people don’t see any need for a change (= they’re satisfied with current situation)
  • Contemplation stage (people see the need for a change but are ambivalent about changing)
  • Preparation stage (people are committed to changing, but need help in preparing an action plan)

(The other stages are Action, Maintenance and Relapse but relate to the ongoing change or after change has been done).

To each of these stages correspond different strategies to engage people in the change (italic is a quote from Wikipedia)

  • people in the Pre-contemplation stage “typically underestimate the Pros of changing, overestimate the Cons, and often are not aware of making such mistakes. These individuals are encouraged to become more mindful of their decision-making and more conscious of the multiple benefits of changing an unhealthy behavior.” Isn’t this helping them raising their Dissatisfaction with current situation?
  • people in the Contemplation stage “learn about the kind of person they could be if they changed their behavior and learned more from people who behave in healthy ways. They’re encouraged to work at reducing the Cons of changing their behavior.” Isn’t this helping them defining their Vision of a preferred situation?
  • people in the Preparation stage “are encouraged to seek support from friends they trust, tell people about their plan to change the way the act, and think about how they would feel if they behaved in a healthier way. Their number one concern is—when they act, will they fail? They learn that the better prepared they are the more likely they are to keep progressing.” Isn’t this helping them build an Action Plan and First Steps to initiate the change? (with support from relatives)

I don’t know if one author quote the other in these different works, but there are clearly relations between one and the other.

Of course, how to provide that help is what most of this blog is about: explaining, teaching and coaching in various approaches. My last lines of thought clearly are more of the coaching side and raising intrinsic motivation in people, using, for instance, Motivational Interviewing.

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