Daughter Removing Misery from Supervisory Challenges with Option Solving



A few weeks ago over dinner, my university preoccupied daughter raised a question about her occasional “side” job: “What should I be doing to deal with a new employer rule requiring us to take a 45 minute lunch break without pay?” Although studying to be a commercial pilot, she welcomed the sporadic job for a little extra spending money. She is required to waitress tables or be behind the bar at a major local sports venue in its VIP lounge, when it has events for VIPs, celebrities or charitable events.

Instead of offering advice (not a great idea), we immediately plunged into an option solving exercise, especially as she was quite familiar with my book. Within about 5 minutes we had phrased the appropriate question, “What is the most favorable way I can express my reservations about the 45 minute lunch rule without getting fired?” (See also Latest Example). 

This is a typical dilemma for many workplace people, who suddenly find themselves stuck at the end of newly imposed rule (sometimes seemingly unfair) with scant explanation. The challenge for the employee is either to swallow or address it. In this case, my daughter obviously wanted to address it.

We then debated the two bookends (see more in Chapter 3 of the book) and came up with, 1) Continue to feel miserable about it, or 2) Raise bloody hell. Neither of these were appropriate but they started prodding her intuitive mind to come up with viable alternatives.

Eventually we came up with six viable options, three of which were: A) Do nothing about it, or C) Bring my feelings to the company’s attention by letter when I leave next summer, or E) Make a suggestion to add an extra hour to work schedules to compensate. She ultimately chose one of the three others but her solution is not important (See Latest Example).

What is more important is that:

  • She came to her own conclusion
  • She didn’t feel trapped by her dilemma anymore
  • She determined her best course of action at that moment in time
  • She quickly reduced her level of anxiety about the issue

These are some of the benefits you can experience by using Option Solving (see Order Book).You don’t have to wrestle with tough employer dilemmas anymore (NOTE: There will be another posting within a week.)


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