Many managers feel compelled to step in front of their employees with ready-made concepts in order to justify their role. In change processes, the demands placed on managers are different. They should convey security by clearly stating what the next steps will be to overcome the current challenges. However, employees expect involvement and dialog when developing specific content. It is therefore advisable not to approach the workforce with an entirely finished solution, but to openly discuss the concept developed by a project group. It should always be clearly indicated what is irrevocable and what can still be altered. This dialog-oriented approach should help you create acceptance for new things. A quote from Konrad Lorenz sums up the five steps that employees should go through in order to firmly establish the new behavior in their minds:

  • What is thought is not yet said,
  • What is said is not properly heard,
  • What is heard is not properly understood,
  • What is understood is not always accepted,
  • What is accepted is not always applied,
  • What is applied is not always kept.
  1. They must be informed about the new things.
  2. It must be guaranteed that they understand the new things.
  3. This is the foundation to accept new things.
  4. They must be supported in implementing the new things.
  5. Implementing them once is not enough – it must be done in a sustainable fashion.


  1. From time to time, observe yourself, trying to find out how long you talk and how often you consciously listen.
  2. Promote conscious dialog in your organization: addressing things – listening consciously – respecting the opinions of others – letting go of preconceptions and refraining from quick judgment.
  3. Increasingly use large group events for dialogs with your employees. One possibility is the so-called ‘World Café’. Gather groups of four to five people around a table where they will find Flipchart paper and pens. Ask every group the same question, for instance: what can we do to become even more successful together? From the very beginning, the participants are supposed to take notes, draw, scribble etc. After 20 minutes, only the ‘host’ remains while all others change tables. Most often, three circuits are done and the exercise is concluded with a brief report. You will be surprised how many – already well linked – good results will have been produced in just one hour (further information: