TCF Engagement through the SCARF model

Helping Treat Customers Fairly by using the SCARF model to manage relationships

David Rock uses the SCARF model to share key ideas from neuroscience research relating to how we interact socially. Our brains treat social rewards and threats in the same way as a physical threat or reward.manage relationships, solve problems, collaborate and make healthy decisions is directly impacted by our automated threat response

Customer engagement and employee feedback can become more effective when we learn how to manage these five relationships stimulants. Being able to positively manage relationships, solve problems, collaborate and make healthy  decisions is directly impacted by our automated threat response. When we learn to manage our SCARF threat responses we become better at Treating Customers Fairly.SCARF model either stimulates or reduces engagement with customers and employees

Each element of the SCARF model either stimulates or reduces engagement with customers and employees.

The SCARF model for engagement:

  • Status. Recognising where others fit in and letting them know they are valued. When we feel “better” or “less” than others it can impact our sense of security and power.
  • Certainty. Reducing ambiguity by providing certainty helps build relationships. Our brains seek certainty. We like to know what will happen.
  • Autonomy. Our ability to make choices and rely on ourselves. Having control over our environment helps us feel more confident and open to opportunities. Feeling unable to make choices, or influence outcomes, triggers our fight or flight threat responses.
  • Relatedness. Connection and a sense of belonging are essential to building healthy relationships. Connection involves our sense of belonging to our ‘tribe’.
  • Fairness. The perception of being treated fairly is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship. Part of why we feel good when we do volunteer work (improving our community) may be the feeling that we are decreasing the unfairness in the world.TCF Engagement through the SCARF model Infographic

Keeping these elements in mind when building relationships helps reduce perceived threats and increase positive responses. Acknowledging status, being reliable, allowing others the opportunity to make decisions, increasing the feeling of connection and being fair all contribute to healthy relationships.

To increase your ability to Treat Customers Fairly use the SCARF model to reduce conflict.


Specialising in helping you build a great place you want to work | Performance through humanity at work | Building Employee Engagement and Emotionally Intelligent teams | Treating Customers Fairly TCF Consulting, coaching and training

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