In 1969 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described five stages of grief in her book “On Death And Dying“. These stages represent the normal range of feelings people experience when dealing with change in their own lives or in the workplace. All change involves loss at some level and the “Five Stages” model has been used to understand people’s reactions to change for many decades. The stages of change are typically represented in the form of a change curve diagram.

The change curve diagram is helpful in conveying the various levels of emotion people feel as they work to process the change. These are not necessarily linear and people often move between stages sometimes lingering on a particular stage, moving to a different stage, and then returning to a prior stage. “Anger” and “Depression” are often the stages where people get stuck.


Although she does not include “Hope” as one of the five stages in this model, Kubler-Ross adds that hope is an important thread running through all the stages.

This hope is the belief that there will be a positive outcome from the change and that there is some meaning that will eventually be learned from the experience. Even in the most difficult circumstances there is an opportunity for growth and learning.