Recruiting Celebrities through Option Solving

Recruiting the right people is never easy, especially if you’ve been challenged with the task many times because – the more you do it, the more challenging you realize it is and the more luck you know you will need. In this instance, I am thinking about a recent option solving exercise with a successful professional, who is thinking about starting a non-profit. He has secured the necessary legal requirements, so his breakthrough challenge was how to recruit the necessary celebrities he would need to get his long dreamed about project off the ground.

We spent a good deal of time formulating the question. In fact, to get our intuitive juices flowing, which would assist us with the necessary creativity, we started out listing down some of the issues associated with his celebrity recruiting challenge (see the “Smart Decisions” book): such as,  picking people who have access to celebrities, the time factor involved,  who has spheres of influence, and so on. With these in mind, he was able to begin putting together an appropriate question, like “What is my best alternative in gaining access to celebrities, through picking people with the right spheres of influence (who have access to celebrities), so that I can recruit the right celebrities in the shortest possible time?”

Once the question was established, he was challenged to come up with the two bookends: potential options but were quite untenable to him; like, at one end, “Happenstance contact” or at the other end, “Secure Oprah Winfrey to help.”

With these in place, his intuitive mind was provoked into high gear because of the question and the bookends challenged him to think of options that were more realistic. He came up with seven viable options, as opposed to the two or three we typically dredge up, when faced with a similar situation. And then he chose what he thought will his optimum option one after some “emotional distancing” (see the book). Believe you me; with the choice that he picked, he is likely to be way more successful in recruiting his desired celebrities. Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: Getting meetings without alienating people, through Option Solving. Make your COMMENTS to connect with the author. )

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Giving Advice through Option Solving

We’re all asked for advice from time to time and the question is, “Will the other party listen and take your advice on board?” This is where option solving can come in very handy.

Instead of providing advice, ask the advice seeker, “What do you see are your options in this instance?” By asking them a question in reply, you’ve automatically got them into a listening mode. More often than not, the person will start sharing one or two of their immediate options but you will quickly notice he/she is frustrated with those answers, which is why he/she has come to you.

Your challenge, other than in an emergency, is not to give advice seekers advice off the bat. There is a big chance your offering will not gel with them anyway, even if it’s very sound, because deep down people prefer to act on their own advice not upon the advice of others. They have to experience an emotional buy-in to any advice and they are more likely to do that when they have discovered it for themselves.

So, once you have them sharing their initial options with you, then ask the question, “What is it you are trying to accomplish with this issue?” This is going to encourage them to reach into their intuitive intelligence and imagine what they are really looking to resolve. Help them formulate an appropriate question (learn about this in the book).

Then get them to spell out their least likely options (what the book calls “bookends”). Once these are in place, which will move their intuitive mind into high gear, then ask them, “What are your most likely options?” Now they will start looking at wider possibilities, including the one or two that they offered at the outset.

When they have exhausted their ideas, this is when you can insert the idea/piece of advice that you would have liked to have given them in the first place. Now they will really listen and most likely buy into your suggestion. And now they are ready to choose their best option, especially when you ask them, “Now intuitively pick the best option for you?” No analysis. No agonizing. Just choose the one that makes the most intuitive sense.

Hey presto! They suddenly find they’ve arrived at their best possible choice. They have also emotionally bought into it. They will be so grateful to you for listening and helping them along the right track. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: solving a recruitment issue with Option Solving. Make your COMMENTS to connect with the author.