SCI-PAB in Everyday Life: From Wedding Toasts to Getting Your Teenager to Do Dishes

If you’re familiar with SCI-PAB, you know what a powerful tool it can be in your business communications. But did you know that it can be incredibly useful in your personal life as well?

SCI-PAB lets you grab your listeners’ attention within the first few seconds—when they are most attentive—and in a few quick sentences, convey the problem, suggest how to resolve it, and share the benefits of doing what you recommend.

Part of what makes SCI-PAB so powerful is that it’s based on the simple storytelling framework that we were all exposed to in children’s books and stories.

Scenario: Hansel and Gretel

  • Situation: After getting lost in the woods, Hansel and Gretel came across a candy-coated house and a sweet old lady who lived there.
  • Complication: The sweet old lady was actually a mean witch who locked them in a cage and tried to fatten Hansel up.
  • Implication: Her plan was to eat Hansel.
  • Position: Hansel and Gretel needed to find some way to defeat the witch.
  • Action: They pushed the witch into the oven, filled their pockets with gold, and returned home to their father.
  • Benefit: And then they lived happily ever after.

But that’s just the beginning. SCI-PAB can be used to guide any communication or conversation. Below are just a few examples.

Scenario: Deciding who has dish duty

The dishes are piling up in your sink and you’re getting tired of it. Here’s how you could use SCI-PAB to open the conversation with your roommate or partner—or even teenager!

  • Situation: It seems like the dishes need to be washed more frequently.
  • Complication: Unfortunately, it’s not clear whose job it is, and they are piling up.
  • Implication: We’re running the risk of this becoming a significant issue between us.
  • Position: I think we need to think about doing the dishes in the context of our other chores and make sure responsibilities are divided fairly.
  • Action: Let’s sit down and make a list, see who wants to do what.
  • Benefit: Then we won’t have to feel like we’re each doing more than our fair share.

Scenario: Toasting the new Mrs. and Mr.

  • Situation: As many of you know, Brian lived with Bob and me for a long time.
  • Complication: He’s a fantastic friend. But, if you’ve ever lived with Brian, you’ve come to learn he has some “quirks.”
  • Implication: Frankly, we all figured that he would be single forever.
  • Position: Working with the Law of Numbers, we pushed him to go out on date, after date, after date. We were thrilled when he finally met Julie!
  • Benefit: Julie has embraced Brian’s quirks and I have never seen him happier.
  • Action: Please raise your glasses as we wish the new couple a life filled with love, laughter, and even a few quirks!

(Pro tip: Sometimes it works better to switch the Benefit and the Action around so that the action is last.)

Scenario: An eloquent intro in your Ice Bucket Challenge Video

The rules of the Ice Bucket Challenge are simple: participants can either dump a bucket of ice water over their head and donate $10 to The ALS Association or skip the water and donate $100. They have 24 hours to complete the challenge and, if they choose the ice bucket, they have to upload a video as proof.

  • Situation: ALS is a heartbreaking disease, and the ALS Association is an important part of the research that brings about breakthroughs in diagnosis, treatment, and hopefully a cure.
  • Complication: They need money—lots of it—to continue their life-changing work.
  • Implication: If they don’t get it, more people will suffer.
  • Position: I am here, ready to dump this bucket of ice water over my head—and nominate others to do the same.
  • Benefit: Doing so will bring attention to this important disease, and this incredibly hardworking and worthwhile organization—as well as much-needed donations.
  • Action: Let the bucket fall!

Scenario: Drumming up conversations with colleagues

SCI-PAB can also help you discover and ask questions of others.

  • Situation: It has been a crazy last two years.
  • Complication: What challenges did you face at home?
  • Implication: How did those <reference challenges you heard in the Complication>  impact you?
  • Position: The good news is that we got through it—and learned a few things along the way.
  • Action: And now it’s time to move forward and get back to seeing one another in person.
  • Benefit: We definitely have a newfound appreciation for some of the things we previously took for granted.

Scenario: Holiday hello

You can even use SCI-PAB to frame up your holiday greeting.

Put SCI-PAB to work for you

Curious to know more? We’d love to talk to you about how SCI-PAB can help you in your business and personal communications.

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Karen Bintz

Karen Bintz

Karen Bintz is a senior trainer, consultant, account executive and communications coach with Mandel Communications. After starting her career in sales at IBM, Karen spent over 15 years building and leading the global executive briefing program at BMC Software. She and her team achieved the Association of Briefing Program Managers (ABPM) “Program of the Year" more than any of the other 100+ member companies. Karen and her team won this award, considered the highest honor in the industry, in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2015. ABPM subsequently invited Karen to serve on their advisory board to further the advancement of briefing programs across the globe. A certified Mandel Communications trainer since 2011, Karen has empowered people from over 30 countries with the skills to become better communicators professionally and personally. She is in high demand as a motivational and instructional speaker for global sales teams, industry events, and conferences. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and an MBA, both from Texas A&M University.
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