Have you ever felt like a loser? How did you feel? How was it when your partner left you or when you didn’t get that great job although you were the best candidate? How did you feel when a more powerful person came and snatched something away from you? Go back in time and try to sense the triggered emotions.

Many of those affected by changes feel exactly like you did back then – like losers. As a designer of change – in other words as one of the powerful – it is your job to professionally deal with the losers – in other words the defenseless. Do not push the losers of reorganization to the margin. Do not turn their situations and feelings into taboos. And one more thing: constructively dealing with losers positively influences the culture for necessary future changes. Which might make you a loser.

Three principles that should guide your behavior towards losers:

1. Quickly create clarity about future positions, tasks and affiliations.
2. Take the time to listen to others, but do not spare them necessary truths or your assessments of skills and potentials.
3. Maintain a fundamental attitude of appreciation for the person and their story. Let others feel that emotions have a place in the business world without beeing ‘overpowered’ by them.


  1. Explore who in your company could feel like losers in the event of a reorganization and offer them personal ‘development help’. Coaching, personal reorientation qualification and professional outplacement advice are helpful.
  2. Don’t avoid uncomfortable conversations. Prepare well, select a good place and take enough time. Assume a solution-oriented attitude towards the other person. Show empathy before such talks without playing the issue down and quickly resorting to comforting the other person.
  3. Put yourself in the situation of the people who will lose something. After receiving bad news, they go through the following phases: shock – denial – aggression – depression – mourning. Only once they have gone through all phases are they able to accept new things.