LFAS, it’s not an acronym to use in a text.
This is an acronym Patrick Maloney, CEO from DS & B shared with another participant as an effective method for resolution with a customer. Personally, I believe it transcends customer service and would work in leadership, parenting, and life as well.
- Listen. Take the time to fully understand the other person’s point of view. This means you can’t be forming your counterpoint, looking at your phone, consider your next question or doing anything else. To truly listen means you are fully present with the person speaking.
- Facts. State them and separate facts from stories. We have an incredible exercise for this, should you ever want humble yourself to how small the number of facts which are shared compared to how many stories we tell. Contact me to walk you through this exercise. It’s an eye opener every time. Also, stick to the facts when you respond. Tease them out and ensure you have heard them correctly.
- Acknowledge. Let the person communicating know that you understand their position and feelings, that the two make sense given what they have shared. Acknowledging the validity of their experience is not the same as agreeing with their position. You are simply repeating back to them that the pieces of the puzzle they have laid out make sense as they stated them.
- Solution. Offer ideas, insights, options and ultimately a solution. You may need to collaborate to get to the final answer, but assure the person you’re working with them to resolve what’s occurred so everyone can move forward.
These simple acronyms can help us when we need to diffuse a situation with others. Using them during tense times (like we’ve been experiencing since early March), can be a game changer. Good luck and remember to LFAS with others!