Change has become a common thread inextricably woven into the fabric of relationships, families, teams, organizations, corporations, communities and countries. Change has become one of few certainties in our modern world. Change, in many cases, has become a bare necessity for survival.

Many subject matter experts, moreover, maintain that the majority of Change initiatives ultimately fail, perhaps even as many as 70% or more.

Dr. John Kotter, one of the world’s leading authorities on this subject, counsels that, if you endeavour to manage or lead Change in a social system, communication is of essence, you cannot over-communicate. Change and communication are two sides of one coin.

To summarize, Change is prevalent, but most Change initiatives fail. Successful Change is dependent on intensive, empathetic communication. Communication, then, is the key to sustainable Change.

Enter Dr. Mark Sircus*, an internationally renowned medical doctor from Brazil. In a recent blog on his website, Dr. Sircus commented on what he perceives to be a global crisis. (*

The world has a listening crisis, Mark Sircus maintains. Listening has become a rare skill. True Listening is losing ground. Mass communication is rampant, omnipresent, but we fail at reaching each other emotionally because we are not listening. True listening is a purposeful act that requires deceleration and deliberation. People, Dr. Sircus says, have gotten used to poor communication and accept it as a natural part of life.

The absence of listening is the essential reason for failed Change.

He who listens not, loves not. A lack of listening is symptomatic of a lack of appreciation. Where love is on the decline, fear is on the rise. Fear and Change are not good companions. Fear will counteract any Change effort you might attempt to institute.

Conversely, he who listens, loves. David Augsburger, a Theologian and Professor of Pastoral Counseling, once coined the following phrase:

“Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference.”

Where appreciation and love abound, communication flows. People feel understood. Where people feel understood, courage can grow and people will be willing step out of their comfort zones. They will be willing to go along with Change.

Listening is loving. Love drives out fear and makes way for openness and courageous candor. And this, in turn, is the state in which Change is most likely to happen.

The message is clear. The all pervasive necessity for Change needs personal communication, but effective communication begins with love, and love leads to listening. Saint-Exupéry once wrote, “It is only with the heart that one can see (listen) rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” (Le Petit Prince).

Change Tools won’t work unless…

In the light of these experiences, all the Change tools and approaches the Organizational Development community has to offer are certain to fall short of their noble intentions.

The question you may have is, how, then, can we implement and execute genuine, sustainable Change in our teams and companies?

There is a way

The Swedish psychologist, Dr. Claes Janssen of Stockholm has created a framework called “The Four Rooms of Change®”. This framework can be created by individuals and teams in a one or two day kick-off workshop.

The “Four Rooms of Change®” brings genuine listening back to the board room, to corporate offices, to production areas, to school classes, to town halls, to neighbourhoods, to parliaments and to families.

Within one day, you can start using this very simple, easy and practical method of Change communication in your environment. This method opens the channels for natural, candid and appreciative communication. Using Dr. Claes Janssen's method, Change becomes a joint practice that lets the heart speak, allowing minds to open up to each other. The many Change approaches and tools you are accustomed to can now become effective and operable. Change has a chance with “The Four Rooms of Change”.

Benefits of “The Four Rooms of Change®”

  • Everyday emotions finds an appreciative and positive place in the team
  • Hidden emotions find a voice
  • Facilitates reflection and deliberation, i.e. it gets people talking AND listening
  • The Johari Window becomes operable; the Johari Window in the room
  • Uncovers the dynamics behind Transactional Analysis
  • Creates additional awareness for the Four Aspects of a Message by Schultz von Thun
  • Psychometric models, e.g. DiSC, MBTI, etc. find additional resonance and validation
  • Helps dealing positively with fear
  • The Four Rooms of Change becomes the basis upon which Change can become reality
  • A one day workshop can be the beginning of the Change you have been looking for: in your personal life, your team’s life, for your company’s future.

If you would like to know more about “The Four Rooms of Change®”, the method of appreciative and empathetic conversation, the associated Change toolbox and what this could mean for your organization, we would be very happy to share our insights and explore further options with you.

In Germany, contact: 

Christiaan Lorenzen,

Dr. Angelika Schrand,

Christiaan Lorenzen is a freelance trainer, coach and organizational developer with his own practice, DooNorth Coaching, located in Bielefeld, Germany. He is also a partner of CONTUR GmbH, Hannover.

Dr. Angelika Schrand is Managing Director of CONTUR GmbH. This training, coaching and OD company is based in Hannover and has further offices in Frankfurt, Regensburg, Shanghai and Mexico City.

Beide Angelika and Christiaan are authorized trainers and consultants for the „Four Rooms of Change®“ method.

CONTUR GmbH is the official distributor of „Four Rooms of Change®“ in Germany. All rights, trademarks and copyrights lie with A&L Partners Consulting, Stockholm