Thursday, 23 April 2015

Hannah Fox's Diary 12 - Fact Feel Want

Something a bit different this week....

Hannah is feeling somewhat bruised from her less than successful meeting with Clipboard Clive last week and so we're giving her a week off.  Instead of the normal diary entry from Hannah, we, at Work Smart Work Savvy HQ, thought we'd reflect over the meeting and look at what has worked for Hannah and what hasn't.

Writing this diary has been a real positive for Hannah as she has used it to gained clarity on her situation by keeping the diary going and it’s enabled her to keep a good track of the time line of events.

Hannah is feeling under threat at work and her last meeting with Clive was not very productive and has left her feeling more insecure than ever. However, she is determined to be more prepared next time and Jo has suggested she keeps it simple and to the point by using the Fact Feel Want technique.

This is a template tool for putting across your point, how you're feeling and what you want to change in a positive, assertive way but without blaming, threatening the other person or reeling off a long list of  angry accusations.  

So let's break it down...

Saying how it is in a factual manner.  Hannah must be prepared to back up her claims with hard evidence. This will keep her focussed on specific issues and make it hard for her to be drawn off course by Clive.

As much as Hannah blames Clive for her situation, as soon as she says he’s making her feel a certain way he will have no option but to deny it and become defensive. So keep it simple by remembering to say “I feel….." rather than saying “you're making me feel....”.

This is the tricky bit.  We're all quite good at telling people what the problem is and how it's making us feel but unless you tell the other person what you want, it’s hard for them to guess and almost impossible for them to make any changes. Imagine you have received really shoddy service in a restaurant and your food, despite being ordered 40 minutes ago shows no sign of arriving.  Meanwhile, your friends are waiting to tuck into theirs which has been served. Of course, complaining would be appropriate but unless you give specific instructions of how you want the situation to be resolved, chances are you will not be completely happy with the outcome. This could end in you on a rant about how unhappy you are about the situation but leaving the staff unsure whether you are planning on walking out or if you will give them a chance to rectify the situation.

Hannah would need to give some serious thought to what it is she actually wants to change before entering in a Fact Feel Want conversation with Clive.  In Hannah’s scenario she could feel quite exposed and be putting herself on the line, especially as she is convinced Louise is waiting for her to fail. For example by saying she wants to concentrate on getting new business, Hannah will have to be prepared to sign up to new targets and adhere to them.

Fact Feel Want, used well is a very effective tool as it makes it extremely clear what you do and don’t want ……..but as always, life isn’t perfect so before you start think about what you would and wouldn’t be prepared to compromise on. What would be the deal breaker!

Here is a very simple working example - 

Fact:  I have done the washing up and drying for 5 evenings in a row now.  
Feel:  I feel tired and put upon.
Want: I would like us to share the load by either doing it alternate evenings or one of us does the washing, the other dries and we get it done in half the time.  Then we'd have time to sit down together and watch that DVD we've been meaning to see for ages.

The alternative, if we don't use the Fact Feel Want technique is that we may end up saying something along the lines of...

You never do the washing up, it's always left to me!  As for the work services, well wiping them down once in a while wouldn't harm you, would it? You just treat me like a slave!   And don't get me started on the........

Obviously you can see the difference between these two examples.  I'm sure like me, you'd much rather be on the receiving end of the first one rather than the second one! I imagine the second one would result in a rather nasty argument with accusations flying around and quite possibly a fair bit of door slamming!!  I'd much rather take on a bit of extra drying up and a DVD any day!

So that's Fact Feel Want and I have a feeling we'll be seeing Hannah having a go at using this technique at some point over the next few weeks and yes, Hannah will be back next week.

Hannah Fox is a character.  She is based on our years of experience working for a national mental health charity supporting people facing stress in the workplace.  
The names and characters are not based on any one person and all similarities are purely incidental.
However, hopefully we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Hannah.

Pause for thought:
Have you ever tried the Fact Feel Want technique?  How did it work for you?
Have you ever tried this Fact- Feel- Want approach and how did it work for you?

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