Quite possibly one of the most powerful communication tools I’ve used in my 17+ years of coaching.
Now, Rob and I coach our clients in how to understand and use THE MOST powerful communication tool – DISC – but, WIFLS are a vital tool in any business owner, or manager’s, communication tool kit.
Why is this particular tool so powerful?
Because when used correctly it allows anyone say exactly what’s on their mind, without fear.
And this is exactly the kind of fearless communication you need if you want a high-performing team.
WIFLS are simply this…
What I Feel Like Saying.
WIFLS are a process you implement in your team and are great for resolving conflict, bringing a team into alignment or simply as a way of starting and/or closing a meeting.
Like any tool, it must be used the right way for it to be effective.
You can’t simply walk out of your office and say ‘What I Feel Like Saying is I’m extremely frustrated with the poor results we’ve seen so far this quarter!” and expect that will change anything.
Of course, that was an extreme example, but I have had business owners misuse this tool in ways not too dissimilar from my example, so together, we’ll step through the process of how to effectively bring this powerful tool into your business.
The first rule of WILFS is…
NO ONE ELSE SPEAKS OR REPSONDS WHILE THE PERSON IS SHARING THEIR WIFLS.
This is important. The person is simply sharing what they need to – it is not a time for ANYONE to comment or interject.
Person 1 will begin with, “What I feel like saying is…” and then state whatever is on their mind.
Everyone else LISTENS.
When the person has said everything they feel like saying, they signal this to the others by saying, “And that’s what I feel like saying.”
Then that same person will turn to the person next to them, or across from them if there’s only two, and ask, “And what do you feel like saying [Person 2]?”
And so the process continues until everyone has had their opportunity to speak.
The final rule of WIFLS is this…
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE WIFLS STAYS IN THE WIFLS.
Nothing which is said in the WIFLS can be raised with a person after the WIFLS. Any issues raised are dealt with there and then, or a plan is made there and then to deal with it if it’s not possible to fully resolve it in the WILFS.
This process allows for conflict between team members to be resolved in a way that is completely non-threatening and non-confrontational. It also brings a team into alignment by knowing – rather than assuming – what their thoughts are on any particular issue.
Some of the other powerful benefits I’ve witnessed are:
The WILFS process is a powerful communication tool because repeated, consistent use creates an environment where trust, accountability and empathy are foundational practices. In these environments, employees have the safe space they need to perform at their very best.
If you’d like to know more about how Rob and I could work alongside you and your team to achieve a high-performance culture, reach out. We’re here to support you in achieving the business and lifestyle you want for yourself and your family.
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