As part of our Short N Sharp Training session “Navigating Difficult Conversations”, we introduce participants to David Rock’s S.C.A.R.F. model.

The S.C.A.R.F. model provides insight to help people improve their collaborations and interactions with others. In a nutshell, it seeks to explain our natural instinct to avoid conflicts and challenging situations, and ​move toward ​or approach those situations where there may be a reward or benefit of some sort.

The model specifically focuses on the following five key areas, which David Rock suggests are particularly relevant to our interactions with others in a work context.

b2ap3 large SCARF

In order to utilise the model, consider what is happening in terms of your interactions with others. If you’re encountering some challenges, could it be that the person is feeling that their status is under threat, or that they are not being treated fairly for example? If you’re needing to influence others, is there anything you can do to give them more certainty or more autonomy, for example?

This model applies both ways of course – to both you and to the person you need to collaborate with. Your approach can trigger their approach/avoid instincts just as their reaction might trigger yours. We are social animals, so it’s essential to understand how to manage these threats and rewards when we interact with others. By understanding what we and others tend to find threatening or rewarding, it’s possible to improve our workplace collaborations and turn potentially challenging situations into productive ones.

Want to learn more about our general training offerings? Check out Short N Sharp Training or give us a call today to learn more.