Resilience Wisdom Coach, Consultant, and Professor Dr. Sarah Stebbins Explains the Three Ways People Respond to Change — Making It Easier on Everyone

PORTLAND, OR, April 26, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — “Whether you are an organizational leader, a parent, or both, you can become more empowered and empower others,” Dr. Sarah Stebbins says, “by understanding how employees and family members respond to change.”

There are three typical responses we have when our immediate world is unpredictably turned upside down — the Cuddly Curmudgeon Response, the Reserved Response, and the Early Adopter Response. Dr. Stebbins says that identifying and understanding those three responses can provide guidance for how to manage them when making a change.

• Cuddly Curmudgeon Response: Is resistant to change, no matter what, and is quick to criticize.
• Reserved Response: Is all about wait-and-see before making a move.
• Early Adopter Response: Is thinking, “This is what’s going on — this is great! How do I get on board?”

In addition to identifying and understanding these responses, it is important to recognize that a person can experience all three, depending on the change. For example, a person could be the Early Adopter for one change and show up next time as the Cuddly Curmudgeon.

Dr. Stebbins, who worked as a Change Management Consultant for more than 25 years, has observed these responses many times in others and herself. Her understanding of change and its emotional impact was brought to life during her rafting experience in the raging rapids of the Colorado River.

“The river can be unpredictable and shocking,” Dr. Stebbins says, “It can be placid one moment and, in an instant, indiscriminately blast you with its water-laden fury. And, so it is with any change!” This inspired her book “From Fire to Water: Moving Through Change: Six Elements for Personal Resiliency.”

These six elements — which add up to resilience — are spelled out by the word CHANGE: Candor, Heroism, Acceptance, Nurture, Gratitude, and Engagement.

“Resilience is about building muscle,” Dr. Stebbins says, adding that when we learn how to get through a particular change, we store that in our resilience muscle. “Over time, with practice, we accrue what I call resilience wisdom, and it’s that wisdom that we tap into as life throws new challenges our way.”

About: Certified and Professional Coach Dr. Sarah Stebbins is an organizational change management consultant, as well as the author of “From Fire to Water: Moving Through Change: Six Elements for Personal Resiliency.” Dr. Stebbins is Adjunct Faculty at Portland State University in their Center for Executive and Professional Education. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, the Federal Government, colleges and universities, as well as non-profit organizations.

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