The Connected Leadership Podcast

Putting the I Into Change with John Fisher

Listen on

Episode notes

Welcome to the Connected Leadership podcast with Andy Lopata. In this episode, Andy welcomes John Fisher, a constructivist psychologist and coach with 25 years of experience in change management, personal development, and coaching. John has a rich professional background, working with organisations such as BPP, Training 2000 Ltd., Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions and BAe Systems. His experience spans designing and delivering leadership and personal development courses, coaching, and project management. John is the author of six books, including "Putting the I into Change," and joins Andy to explore the intricacies of navigating change from an individual's perspective.

Andy and John examine the emotional and psychological issues people face during major life changes. John shares insights from his experience and introduces the Fisher curve (see link below). The Fisher curve maps the journey individuals undertake during change, considering the impact on identity and emotional well-being.

Andy and John discuss the significance of understanding where individuals are in the change process to manage conversations effectively. They explore the stages of the curve, beginning with anxiety and anticipation, progressing through fear, threat, and guilt, and culminating in anger, confusion, and apathy. The podcast highlights the unique and subjective nature of the curve, with individuals experiencing varying depths and durations of each stage.

John emphasises the importance of constructivist psychology, where understanding the world through another person's eyes is key to effective interaction. The conversation touches on conflict resolution, the stages of grief in the bereavement curve and the impact of change on an individual's sense of identity.

Andy and John explore the nuanced aspects of organisational change and leadership. The focus centres on the involvement of external coaches in the change process, emphasising the delicate balance between delegating responsibility and maintaining accountability as a leader. John raises a critical point about the necessity of trusting relationships with coaches. He highlights that leaders must discern when to abdicate responsibility, especially in situations where their presence may hinder the change process.

The conversation continues with reflections on the challenges of being honest during periods of uncertainty, emphasising the importance of trust and vulnerability in leadership. Andy and John use real-world examples, including the experience of business leaders and the impact of transparent communication on building trust.

Andy and John explore the complexities of authentic leadership, acknowledging that wearing a metaphorical mask may be necessary in certain situations to provide the team with the stability they need. They discuss the emotional toll on leaders during challenging times and the power of vulnerability in building strong team dynamics.

The episode concludes with a focus on the positive trajectory of change, offering insights into the process of getting individuals on board with change. John emphasises the importance of support, information, freedom, and open communication in guiding individuals through the phases of acceptance and embedding change successfully. The conversation also touches on the continuous nature of change, both at macro and micro levels, reinforcing the idea that change is a constant and dynamic force in organisational life.

This episode is a must listen for leaders navigating the world of change. 

Connect with Andy Lopata Website

Connect with John Fisher Website

Fisher Transition Curve