I went for a walk with a good friend recently. He shared that one of the greatest gifts I ever gave him was the book by Gervase Bushe called Clear Leadership. He started telling me about how it transformed every aspect of his communication and how it has influenced the way he shows up in every spectrum of his Career and Personal life. I thought I would share the basics of one of the the Tools in the book called “The Experience Cube”. When you master this, you will officially be able to “Walk the CUBE”.
The ABC’s of Walking the CUBE
When you have an experience that affects you through a “Pinch” (an unpleasant feeling) or something that is sitting with you following an event, that you continue to “think about” past midnight, you probably may want to consider having a Learning Conversation. Consider first if the relationship is required (Professionally may affect team dynamics) or a personal relationship (where there is caring involved). People make up stories and draw conclusions based on assumptions and then change there behaviors as a result. This creates the “Drama Triangle”.
Set the Stage ~ This is about the setting, timing and readiness and should be within a short period of time following the event. Tell the person why you are meeting with them. Something like; Yesterday when we were talking about _____ I noticed I had a reaction. I would like to explore this with you, when would be a good time to talk for 30 minutes?
Walking the “CUBE”
The first thing you must do is Draw a box with two lines, one vertical and one horizontal, creating 4 boxes. In the first upper left box write the “O”. In the box to the upper right draw the letter “T”, in the lower right box draw the letter “F” and in the lower left box draw the letter “W”.
O = Observing Facts that are observable to anyone (Smell, Words, body language,etc)
T= Thinking (The Story you made up as a result of the facts)
F= Feelings (Sad, angry, confused, etc.)
W= Wants (What do you want to understand and what do you want going forward) This must be within your sphere of influence. You can’t want someone to apologize because you have no control over what others do. You can ask them to paraphrase your perspective.
Remember: Expectations are pre-meditated resentments so focus on what you can own. Most importantly go into a learning conversation knowing you are going to learn something about you.
Now you are ready:
Here how it goes; (O)The other day when you said ____, I noticed your arms were crossed and you didn’t respond when I asked for your feedback (these are facts).
(T) The story I made up is that you are angry with me, or you were tired and didn’t hear me (this is make believe).
(F) I felt embarrassed and confused (True unfiltered feelings)
I want to understand what was going on for you yesterday at the meeting. I also want to know if there was a part I played in how you reacted?
Its that simple: Put your thoughts into manageable boxes and work the CUBE, it may be the best thing for you.