Understanding How to Help People More Effectively.

Section one

Figure 1: Heron Model: What to Say and Ask

The following table can help an intervener analyze and plan communications by indicating what to say and what to ask when using each of the categories of the Heron model.

    Authoritative     Prescriptive
  • Give advice and guidance
  • Tell the other person how they should behave
  • Tell them what to do
  • Give your view and experience
  • Explain the background and principles
  • Help the other person get a better understanding
  • Challenge the other person’s thinking
  • Play back exactly what the person has said or done
  • Tell them what you think is holding them back
  • Help them avoid making the same mistake again
    Facilitative    Cathartic
  • Help the other person express their feelings or fears
  • Empathize with them
  • Ask questions to encourage fresh thinking
  • Encourage the other person to generate new options and solutions
  • Listen and summarize, and listen some more
  • Tell the other person they are valued (their contribution, good intention or achievements)
  • Praise them
  • Show them they have your support and commitment


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