The R.P.B.D.C. method

The R.P.B.D.C. method


As a manager, you may have detected a situation where an employee is "unwell". He is different from usual. "Is he still motivated? What is bothering him? What can I do for him? So many questions to which you do not have certain answers.

The R.P.B.D.C. method, (acronym for Real - Problem - Need - Demand - Contract), developed by Vincent Lenhardt, allows you to uncover the need and the precise demand of the collaborator by giving him free rein to express himself.

The R.P.B.D.C. can enable the employee to express an expectation of you that he or she would not otherwise have been able to do. If it is carried out well, with listening and benevolence, and with a coaching attitude, it can be a source of recognition for the employee and confidence in the manager.

1. Method

First open the conversation: "I wanted to check in with you. Is everything okay? I feel like something is bothering you and I want you to know that I'm here to help you.

R for Real: this is the stage of questioning the situation the person has experienced (Where? Who? What? How? How much? Why? When?...), as seen and presented by the person. In fact, beyond the information collected, the way in which it is expressed is just as rich in information for the future.

P for Problem: this involves identifying one or more problems posed by the situation. "What is your problem? Is it really a problem? How is it a problem for you? This type of question allows the person to validate their problem, clarify it, and perhaps express it differently.

B for Need: for the person conducting the interview, this is the moment to reformulate what has just been said, to feel things out and to make a diagnosis of the situation, without communicating this to the person met.

D for Demand: in a few direct questions, the aim here is to agree on what the person really expects, on the result(s) he or she wishes to achieve ("What result do you want to achieve?") and on what he or she expects from his or her manager ("What do you expect from me?"). The request must be explicit. See the next section.

C for Contract: this is the moment to decide together, to contract on the content to be dealt with, and also on the form, on the way to do it to achieve the objectives of this contract. Talking about the first part...

2. Be careful about the nature of the request!

Be careful that the Request is a genuine request or an explicit request.

2.1 The explicit request:

This is usually the first formulation of the demand, from which other levels of demand will then emerge.

This is the request to be retained and explored.

2.2 The confused demand:

When a person is so overwhelmed by the problem that they cannot formulate it. Suggest that you move away from the big picture and take the problems one by one and let your colleague make the connection, if necessary.

2.3 Latent demand:

The person is unable to formulate, has difficulty elaborating their own words, or only defines what they do not want.

A great need for clarification will be necessary at the beginning of the interview to bring out the request.

Be patient, listen actively, rephrase and ask questions to clarify and bring out the request. Ask your colleague to express the request in positive phrases.

2.4 The ambiguous request:

The person wants one thing and its opposite; they live in a paradox.

Return what you hear with kindness, and ask again what the real request is. Instead of being stuck between two options, open up to a third.

2.5 The anti-demand:

This is the case of the person who comes against their will or seeks failure. They say nothing or abuse the "yes but".

Do not force them, check and observe their behaviour. Tell them that you are leaving the door open (they will have to understand that you are not fooled by their behaviour).