Effective change management is critical to delivering your transformation. To best help people accept the change, you must understand the psychology of how people react and respond to change. In this podcast episode, consumer and business psychologist, Zana Busby of Retail Reflections, joins to explore more about the emotions and psychology of change – and what you can do about it.

Listen to the episode to hear:

  • The six elements of the behavioural change model.
  • If emotions are good or bad.
  • How you can understand where people are in a change journey.



Zana Busby: Consumer and business psychologistIntroducing Zana Busby

Zana Busby is a Consumer & Business Psychologist she specialises in cognitive-behavioural science, offering insights into decoding the mind of the consumer.

She is an experienced psychologist, speaker and author, having spent over 20 years studying and practising psychology to help others make significant changes in their life.

Prior to joining Retail Reflections, Zana worked in the private sector studying mental health and wellbeing.

Now, her main focus is on the role emotions, cognitions, mood and gender differences play in shaping and influencing the customer journey and consequently consumer buying decisions and behaviour – and how these elements rise up if people are subject to a change or stressful situation.

Zana Busby is a keynote speaker. She’s delivered speeches for both domestic and international events, exploring consumer psychology whilst providing a real-world checklist for brands and retailers.

Connect with Zana Busby on LinkedIn

Follow @Zana_A_ on Twitter

Visit the Retail Reflections website.

The 6 stages of the behavioural change model

In the podcast, Zana outlines 6 stages which we go through for any change – whether it is a small personal change or a large business change. The 6 stages are below. But, as you’re reading about them, think about a recent change you have been subjected to – perhaps coronavirus related, at home or at work:

Behavioral Change Model

1. Denial.

In this stage, you reject the idea of the change. You may exhibit behaviours which are damaging to yourself or others in the long run. However, you don’t recognise those damaging behaviours as they seem justified to you. In this stage, you fear the unknown and you are being ruled by your emotions. Also, this stage can be called pre-contemplation.

2. Contemplation

In the next stage, you begin to allow your rational and logical brain to kick in. In turn, you start to think about the pros and cons and are trying to see the change from a different perspective. Basically, you start to come around to the idea and want to assess it more thoroughly. You are aware that your old habits are being challenged and must change in order to deliver a more beneficial future for yourself.

3. Preparation

Next, you start to get ready for full acceptance of the change. This could include experimentation or seeking advice from others who are going through the same change or have already been through a similar change.

4. Action

This is the stage where the change happens. You accept the change and you can boost your own moral with the feeling of pride.

5. Maintenance

Now that you have taken action, you need to cement your new ways of working or lifestyle into your regular routine. Unfortunately, this is a fragile stage in the change journey and many people reject the change and revert to old ways and old behaviours.

One of the key opportunities here is to create new habits. These will help you to accept the change and build it into your new personal “operating model.” But without new habits to keep you busy, your subconscious takes over and it’s almost like you go on auto-pilot to carry out the old habits that you’re used to.

6. Relapse

Finally, this is the stage where your old habits win and you reject the change. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen with your changes of course. But if you’re looking for an example of this in action – consider new year’s resolutions… how many people still go to the gym, keep up the diet, etc in February?

If you find yourself in the Relapse phase, there will be a range of emotions felt by you and all of those involved. Not all is lost though. You can still accept the change and make it a success. But, you must be willing to put in place new strategies, structures and systems to help support you.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results - Albert Einstein

Find out more in this fantastic blog article from Zana Busby: Retail in Lockdown: Leaving the Comfort Zone and Braving the Unknown.

Retail change is hard but there are many actions to make it easier

There is a standard journey that we, as humans, go through when subjected to a change. But, when you understand this emotional and psychological journey that someone takes, you can take actions to help support your customers and your teams. Consider how people are feeling. Then, work with this standard journey – not against it. Don’t try to push people along the journey or bypass stages completely. Instead, let people have time to understand and process the change at an individual level. This will then help them to accept the change by themselves rather than only having change forced upon them.

You may also enjoy these podcast episodes.

Listen to Steph Tranter who arm us with techniques and skills to build our emotional resilience.

057: Building Your Emotional Resilience (part 1) with Steph Tranter - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Episode 57: Building Your Emotional Resilience (part 1)

058: Building Your Emotional Resilience (part 2) with Steph Tranter - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Episode 58: (part 2)

And finally, don’t miss out on saving your spot and registering for Retail Transformation Live (www.retailtransformation.live).

Retail Transformation Live


Would you like to overcome your transformation challenges?

Get my Transformation Trifecta checklist to guide you through what YOU need to put in place for effective change. Plus get expert tips and advice to improve or develop your retail operations.

You have successfully registered!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This