PROSPER – The SCARF model and how to use it


A modern and interesting approach towards understanding and measuring the sense of belonging is the SCARF model. David Rock, author of Quiet Leadership and founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, developed it to help people understand their thoughts and emotions in order to stay in a higher place of consciousness and function.

The model stems out of Neuroscience and supports what is actually happening in our brain. It explain how people react towards threats and rewards, depending on how secure they feel.

Leaders can use the SCARF model to communicate in a way that helps others to feel more secure and ensures what they say does not activate threat (fear and mistrust).

The SCARF model has five domains:

  • STATUS: Our importance to others and feeling like we matter.
  • CERTAINTY: Our ability to understand expectations and calculate the future.
  • AUTONOMY: Our sense of control, freedom and personal power.
  • RELATEDNESS: Our safety and connection with others, friend or foe.
  • FAIRNESS: Our desire for a reasonable exchange between people.

How to use the SCARF model?

You can organize a survey among your colleagues.

Choose questions that reflect the reality in the company and everyday routine and dynamics of people.

Let them give examples in what kind of situations they feel uncomfortable and emotional, and in what they feel confident, proud, empowered.

Analyze the results and take propers steps towards development of greater sense of being part of the organization. Develop a training programme and make it part of the employee experience!

If you want to find out more, take a look at the PROSPER training modules.