Changing is hard. For everyone. Under any circumstance. But, it’s possible and Kurt Lewin tried to show us how.
Behind every group, no matter its goal or how it was created, there is a mentality, a culture. This will unite the group and its elements and it’s not easily changed, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to do so.
Lewin studied the way changing could be practiced and how important it might be, in everyday work with groups and communities.
According to Lewin there is a very specific method to provide an efficient change within a group. You need to increase the forces there are favorable to the changing, or, on the other hand, decrease the forces that are opposite to the change.
It will produce a certain unbalance inside the group and the search for the previous balance will be the catalyst for change.
Lewin considered that decreasing the opposite forces would have a more effective result, since that would provide less tension inside the group, decreasing, in a way, a more aggressive or emotional reaction from its members.
Phases of Social Changing
So, based on all of this, Lewin established that there are three phases that occurring while working on changing a social behavior.
It consists in a non-directive discussion, until reaching a breaking point in order to promote a new behavior.
The changing phase itself.
After you reach the desired behavior, it becomes necessary to keep reinforcing it, so it can be maintained.