Transition Management: The ‘Neutral Zone’ phase

Image  William Bridge in his book ‘Managing transitions, making the most of change’ argues that every transitions involves a three phase process. It starts which an Ending that entails dealing with losses as well as letting go of the old ways of doing things. Then, the Neutral Zone begins. The phase when the old is gone and the new isn’t fully operational, and finally, there’s the New Beginning which involves developing a new identity, experience and discovering a new sense of purpose.

In my own experience of being in transitions (between jobs, cities and countries), I have witnessed that the most challenging phase is the Neutral Zone. This is the phase where you tend to feel lost, uncertain of what to do, and unsure whether you’ve made the right decision. In an attempt to cope with any challenges that occur during the Neutral Zone, I try to remind miself of  the big picture with a view to strengthening my resolve, and I focus on developing a plan B in case anything goes wrong with my initial plan. As Robbie Steinhouse says ‘Confusion is an essential part in the making of a good decision’, so I have started giving myself the permission to be confused…

How could you support, as friends, colleagues, coaches or whatever, anyone who’s going through the Neutral Zone phase? Any tools, ideas or suggestions?

Take care and be all well


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