The GRABS Acrostic

communicate-icon-pictures-2Source: From Globe and Mail Article – July 27, 2015 by Doug Mollenhauer


This acrostic has a bit of an edge to it which I really like. Its connotation is that when a subject or idea GRABS your attention it has power and impact. Doug Mollenhauer, a communications-training consultant based in Vancouver, developed this acrostic to reinforce five key principles for connecting effectively when communicating. His article can be accessed at


Get It:

Main Idea: Help them understand it by stripping complexity and ornamentation from your communication – less is more.

Relate to It:

Main Idea: Help them care and feel something by zeroing in on the emotion that will connect a smaller but potentially more motivated segment of your audience.

Act on it:

Main Idea: Help them want to act on it by articulating an appealing call to action like Nike’s “Just Do It!”

Believe it:

Main Idea: Help them be believers by persuading acceptance through trustworthy authority and personal experience appeals. As Doug puts it, “If the gut says yes, acceptance often follows.”

Surprise and Delight:

Main Idea: Help them notice by injecting humour that both delights and focuses attention by breaking the pattern.

Final Word:

I believe that ordinary things done extraordinarily well, make the difference in leadership. What could be more ordinary than communication? Communicating extraordinarily well is about connecting by paying attention to what people value and need. Embedding GRABS as a habit will help you do this more effectively.

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