Four Stages of Change

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The first act of change is denial. For most people in this stage, change is not easy to accept, and they react to it with a sense of denial or inability to see a problem. People in this stage do not believe that change is happening realistically. To avoid showing denial, people try to focus their attention on other things. In Jamie Oliver's episodes, the citizens of Huntington focused their attention on things, such as, the amount of money it costs to buy healthier food and how much more time it would take to prepare it. The lunch ladies were very close-minded and seemed to always have an argument of denial against what Jamie was trying to preach to them. At one point in an episode, the head lunch lady even stated, “why fix something that isn’t broken.” But, the reality is, that the food and overweight issues in the small town of Huntington is an issue. They just do not want to come to terms with facing it. Change is often interpreted as foreign and uncertain feelings, so people shift their attention to past customs and what makes them feel secure. Jamie's role in this stage is to help the people of Huntington understand what is happening and how it affects them.

The second act of change is resistance. People begin to resist change when they realize that the change is taking place whether they want it to or not. Feelings of anger, doubt, fear, and anxiety begin to develop, which can hinder the process of change. In Jamie Oliver's episodes, the lunch ladies of the elementary school exemplified a great deal of resistance in the change Jamie was trying to put forth. They constantly spoke about how they didn’t think that what Jamie was doing would work, and constantly complained about the new roles and strategies outlined for them. These things happen because people get pushed out of their comfort zone, and arguments and non-cooperation are ways in which team members show their resistance to change. In this stage, Jamie lends an ear to the team members concerns...
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