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Mastering the Change Curve

Mastering the Change Curve is a theory, model and questionnaire about change based upon the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Kubler-Ross research and work with persons dealing with death is world repudiated and her theory was being developed during the same time as Claes Janssen groundbreaking research on people and their approach to self-censorship and change. Janssen's research led to his creation of the theory, model and pedagogical tools known as the Four Rooms of Change.

Although Kubler-Ross and Janssen worked in the same area no evidence has been found that they ever met. On the surface, these theories seem similar; however after closer scrutiny. It is clear that they have taken divergent paths. The Change Curve is based upon a theory about dying and it is illustrated using a continuum of peaks and valleys along an X-Y axis. The Four Rooms of Change theory is based upon four psychological states of mind aspect of the self and takes it stance/perspective in life or the process of living. The theory illustrates this process using a matrix with counter clockwise movement through the four states. The discovery of the psychological state of contentment is in this long time user and writer awe inspiring and brilliant. And while the all four states are important just as important and brilliant are the borders between those psychological conditions.

The biggest difference however, is how individual preferences tend to drag people into certain psychological rooms and areas of the model, preventing them from experiencing others, especially under stress and anxiety.

These differences cannot only be observed as significant differences between people in everyday life, it can actually be measured and predicted. This was actually the starting point of Claes Janssen's research in the 1960s and 1970s. There is no comparison to these individual differences and consequences in Kubler-Ross research and theory.

Using the Four Rooms of Change with individuals, groups, organizations, and in social systems allows for the following events or experiences to occur:

  • It becomes okay for individuals to own how they feel rather than maintaining the pretense that only thinking is important. The experiencing of emotions enable people to come into greater contact with themselves to find out what they feel as opposed to what they think about things what they like and dislike and what they want and don't want (Kets de Vries, 2006). This makes the work or solving the problems more concrete and thus actionable.
  • Because groups build theory out of their own experiences, the Four Rooms of Change gives voice and allows more people to express emotions appropriately and comfortably. Thus making the individual and the group more productive.

With current users and managers there is one recurring comment about the Four Rooms of Change theory and its associated tools is »we could not have gotten from 'where we were' to 'where we are today' without the Four Rooms of Change and this is a good thing«.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a theory, model or tools that provides individuals, groups, organizations and social systems the energy and initiative to change you should try the Four Rooms of Change.


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