Sunday, March 18, 2012

Open The Front Door

This is a helpful little management technique you can use when you want to change behaviour. It's called "Open The Front Door", which is a mnemonic device for the four step process - "Observe Think Feel Desire".

The first step is to state what you have Observed. For example, "I saw you slam the door."

Next step is to describe what the observation made you Think, that is, what conclusions you drew. For example, "I thought you must be angry with me".

Third step is to state how this makes you Feel. For example, "This made me feel sad and hurt, and a bit angry myself."

The final step is to state what you Desire, what you want to happen. For example, "I want us to be friends again."

It's a simple tool, but surprisingly effective in practice. Here's what you might say to a staff member who is on the Internet too much -

"Hi Jenny, I've observed that whenever I walk past your desk, you always seem to be on Facebook. This makes me think that you either don't have enough work to do, or you have work that you don't want to do. I feel frustrated by this because there is a lot to be done, and everyone else in the team is working really hard. What I desire is for you to be fully productive during work hours. How can we achieve this?"

You don't have to use the exact keywords, of course - equivalent words are just as good, and might suit your style better. Some people might think such an approach is too confrontational, but I've used this technique a number of times, and found that it really helps open up effective communication. Give it a go...

2 comments:

Tasha Souza said...

You have not cited your source for this. Please give credit where credit is due.

Tasha Souza said...

You have not cited your source for this. Please give credit where credit is due.

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