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Dealing with change

Time: 90 minutes Level: B2+

Objective:

To discuss change influences leading to change and own experiences both reacting to and announcing change

To learn about the types of changes which organisations face and the common emotions employees experience during the change process.

To learn vocabulary related to change management

Materials:

1 copy per participant of pages 1-3

Note: this lesson can be followed up by this lesson on announcing difficult decisions:

Procedure:

1 Introduction. Learners discuss each point. The answers are subject to their own opinion, but generally speaking:

1. Not everyone accepts change easily - true

2. Good communication helps to make the change management process more effective - true

3. Change occurs very rarely - false

4. Improving technology can be a driver for change - true

5. It is better if employees are not involved in the change process - false

6. Passive leadership is important during periods of change - false

7. Change is usually quick and inexpensive - false

8. The whole organisational culture may be affected by change true

2 Discussion 1. Again, learners will have their own views and experiences, but generally all these situations can be anticipated with foresight and sufficient awareness of your industry. It can be argued that all points are within the control of the business depending on how it behaves, though point 5 is the least likely to be influenced by specific organisations.

3 Discussion 2. Pairs, small groups, or the whole class discuss the questions relating to their own experience of change.

4 Slept analysis. Learners match types of change to their definitions. Answers: A3, B4, C1, D5, E2

5 The change curve. Learners look at the graph and then number the stages describing reactions to change. Answers: 2, 1, 4, 3

6 Discussion Learners discuss which the most critical stage is. This is subject to opinion, though many perceive the first stage to be most important efficient communication can ease the stress of change and promote it as being a positive strategic move, rather than a source of disruption.

7 Implementing change. Pre-teach the vocabulary in bold. Learners then discuss their own experience of announcing change.

© Gabrielle Jones 2014

www.businessenglishexperience.com

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Introduction

True or false?

Dealing with change

1. Not everyone accepts change easily.

2. Good communication helps to make the change management process more effective

3. Change occurs very rarely

4. Improving technology can be a driver for change

5. It is better if employees are not involved in the change process

6. Passive leadership is important during periods of change

7. Change is usually quick and inexpensive

8. The whole organisational culture may be affected by change

Discussion 1:

Are the following changes:

Anticipated or unanticipated?

Within the control of the business or outside its control?

1. Your logistics department is outsourced.

2. The company needs to make redundancies.

3. New technology is introduced.

4. The demand for your products or services decreases.

5. New employment legislation has been introduced .

6. A major competitor has gone bust.

Discussion 2:

· Which of these changes would be most difficult to deal with?

· What does change management mean in your position/for your department?

· What are your main objectives when dealing with change?

· Discuss some major changes which have been made recently in your organization. What factors had to be considered? How successfully were the changes made?

© Gabrielle Jones 2014

www.businessenglishexperience.com

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Types of change - SLEPT Analysis Match the types of changes which can affect businesses, on the left, to the definitions on the right.

A. Social

1. Result of booms or slumps, e.g. in interest rates and inflation rates

B. Legal

2. New development of products and services, e.g. web-based sales

C. Economic

3. Changes in demography and consumer buying patterns

D. Political

4. Changes as a result of new legislation

E. Technological

5. Consequences of governmental directives e.g. privatisation

Discuss: with a partner or in groups, discuss how many of these changes have affected your workplace can you give examples of specific changes and their consequences?

The change process - The Change Curve (Kubler-Ross, 1969) The change curve demonstrates a fairly predictable series of emotions displayed when people are given bad news:

series of emotions displayed when people are given bad news: Can you put the following stages

Can you put the following stages in order?

Stage …… People tend to react negatively: they may fear the impact; feel angry; and actively resist or protest against the changes. As a result, the organization experiences disruption which, if not carefully managed, can quickly spiral into chaos.

Stage …… People react with shock or denial to the challenge to the status quo.

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

Stage …… People stop focusing on what they have lost. They start to let go, and accept the changes. They begin testing and exploring what the changes mean, and so learn the reality of what's good and not so good, and how they must adapt.

Discuss: which stage do you think is the most critical?

© Gabrielle Jones 2014

www.businessenglishexperience.com

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Implementing change

Discuss a change which you implemented, explaining the following related situations:

How did you communicate the reason for this change?

Who were the "change agents"? Who was involved in involved in specific change activities, and who acted as ambassadors for change.

How and when were the changes communicated?

How did you assess the impact of the changes on people and the organization's structure?

How did you ensure that people involved and affected by the change understood the process change?

How did you make sure those involved or affected had help and support during times of uncertainty and upheaval?

How did you assess training needs driven by the change, and how did you plan when and how this was implemented?

How did you identify the success indicators for change, and ensure they are regularly measured and reported on?

© Gabrielle Jones 2014

www.businessenglishexperience.com