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StrategyApr 29, 2012

Freeze, It’s the L.A.P.D!

Andrew Warden

No, you’re not under arrest, and Credera is not moving into law enforcement. LAPD is the method we use to engage with our clients and each other to improve our communication and make sure we achieve great results, an acronym provided by Credera’s own David Dobat.

L stands for Listen

For most of us, listening is incredibly counter-intuitive. We want to speak, talk, gab and prattle. “I have something important to say,” we think, and if indeed the other person insists on speaking first, well then, I’ll use that time to think about what I want to say rather than listen! Instead, we need to slow down and actually (and actively) listen. Our clients and colleagues have important things to tell us. By actively listening, we get a chance to understand what is important to them, what is on their minds, what pain they are trying to eliminate, or what opportunity that they wish to seize.

A stands for Affirm

Affirming is important for two primary reasons. One, it gives us a chance to validate that we have heard the other person and that we think their words are valuable. (They wouldn’t be telling us, if it weren’t important, right?). Affirmation also gives us a chance to ensure that we heard the right things – to clarify. If I do not understand where a client or a colleague is coming from, then the rest of the conversation is likely to go nowhere productive…fast.

P stands for Permission

Permission to speak. Before I offer my perspective on something or give someone advice on what I think, how Credera could help, or what they should do next, I need to make sure that I have their permission. It’s the polite thing, and interestingly, I’ve never had anyone turn me down. (They may not have agreed with my perspective, or followed through on my recommendation, but they have always granted me the permission to offer up my thoughts on the matter).

D stands for Discern

Remember the beginning of this blog, when I was so eager to talk? Well, now I have a little more context (and I am glad I kept my mouth shut initially). I am better prepared to discern the words, message, approach, etc. that will be effective in helping my client or colleague.

With the right context through active (L)istening, the right understanding through (A)ffirming my counterpart, the (P)ermission to give my perspective, and the (D)iscernment to use the right messages, the right words, and the right solution, I am now ready to have a great and productive conversation and a better than average chance at helping a client or colleague solve their problem or seize their opportunity.