The SPIN Model

When you and someone else have conflicting demands.
They have a different position than yours. And you have to come to a decision that is okay for both of you.

We offer a structured way to get to the solution of the problem. The magic is called: exploring the real need of the other person. And the magic wand to use: the SPIN Model, which you will see in action (below in the text)! 👇

This model would come in handy if:

  • you care about the other person’s perspective on an issue,
  • you really want to understand someone else’s need,
  • you don’t know how to explore other people’s needs,
  • the assumptions you make about a problem or person turn out to be wrong most of the time,
  • you are often surprised that the other side has a different position than yours.
When would it be useful for you to know the other person’s real need
  • When making a decision:

Knowing what the other person really wants will save you a lot of time and unnecessary effort thinking of a solution that the other person will ultimately disapprove of. You will not have decisions made “blindly”!

  • In conflict:

In order to have a healthy conflict, you must actively listen to the other side and follow the Don’t Assume principle.

  • When interacting with children:

Oh, yes. The SPIN model is useful when you want to communicate clearly and reasonably with your child ♡

SPIN Model in Action

Example: You want to be promoted to a leadership position. Your manager refuses the promotion with the argument that you do not have the necessary leadership skills.

Situation questions – questions to understand the context.
“How many people are applying for this role?”
“How many years of experience do you need to be in a leadership role?”

Problem questions – questions to explore exactly what the other person’s problem is.
“Is the problem that I haven’t led a team yet?”
“Is it a problem that I don’t have a diverse background in the company?”

Implication questions – questions that focus on what will happen if the problem remains OR what will happen if the problem is solved.
“What will happen if you make me a team leader right now, even though I don’t have enough experience in the company?”
“What will happen if I have leadership experience?”

Need-Payoff questions – questions to find out if the solution you came up with works for the other person as well.

“Is it okay for us to try a 1 month trial period to see if I’m up to the leadership role?”
“Can you get me involved in a project where I can gain this necessary experience?”

The interesting thing is that in most conflict situations we ask a lot of situational questions, and much less often – problem, implication and need-payoff questions. And it’s the PIN part of the SPIN model that brings us the most valuable information.


To summarize – thanks to the 4 question types:

  • You will obtain even more detailed and specific information about the other person’s view on the situation
  • you will resolve your conflict constructively because you will not criticize or blame them
  • you will come to a decision that will be okay for both you and them.

PS: Our pill-ers (check out our newsletter!) were the first ones to receive this vitamin – directly in their mailbox! Make sure to subscribe – become a pill-er! 😊

Learn more...
Anticipate Peoples' Objections
Fight or Flight
Understanding Others