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Change states, Virginia Satir

Spiral Drives is all about development. It doesn’t matter if we call development a natural process or a conscious process towards set goals, change is a constant. There is no life without development and so also no life without change. Many researchers and psychologists talk about change and development.

Change almost always takes place in the same way. This has everything to do with our need for stability.

We are all striving for stability where we can perform at our best. This stability is different for everyone and this relates closely to our drivesDNA™. One person, coming from the drive orange, will strive for a stable environment full of chances and challenges, while another with the drive green will strive for a stable, harmonious environment. In this way we all subconsciously strive for the stability that fits us best.

Continually changing situations and events regularly put our stability under pressure. Our drivesDNA™ ensures that we able to respond and maintain our stability. This is a natural process that mostly takes place subconsciously.

If a situation or an event has a big impact, our drivesDNA™ may not have a suitable answer readily available. Pressure will increase as long as we don’t have an answer and we will cling onto what we know. We resist releasing the old, simply because we do not have a better alternative yet. If this continues for too long, we run the risk of losing our stability until we have found a new, suitable reaction. We can do this independently or in a professional guided development process.

The process described follows the five generic change states as established by the American psychologist Virginia Satir. The states are visualized in the diagram below::

Knowing these states means we can recognize where people, teams and organizations are in the process. As professionals we are then able to tune our support to the needs of the state. This means that development works better at each level.

Application in Spiral Drives™ The universal change states serve as a crucial guide in facilitating change processes for individuals and groups. Additionally, they are included as a concrete measurement in our specialized instrument, “Personal Orientation Perspective” (Dutch only).