Promoting a more Positive/Conducive Relationship to Facilitate Progress: by use of Option Solving!

Fairly recently a client was grappling with how he could make more progress with a current strategic alliance. There weren’t any easy alternatives and yet there were opportunities to be gained, if he could enhance the working relationship.

Faced with this quandary, we decided to take an Option Solving approach since it is so good at handling complex choices. Following some deliberations, he produced an appropriate question along with its key considerations, which was: “What is my best option for creating a positive/conducive relationship that will maximize my strategic alliance’s cooperation, considering our need to meet certain financial requirements, the need to maximize safety, and the desire to optimize reliability?” There were other considerations on his original list, but these three represented the most important ones.

Now we were in a position to define his “bookends”, those yin and yang items that would further frame his dilemma and give his intuition a provocative frame of reference. After some discussion, these turned out to be: “Get rid of them” and at the other end, “Do it ourselves.” Since neither of these was a starter, even though they are, in fact, options, they were useful counter points to stimulate creative thinking.

Now it just remained for him to come up with a number of realistic options. You can see from the Latest Example that he came up with five options (although we deliberately have not shown all of them). With these in place, I turned our worksheet over and started talking about other important issues for about 5-10 minutes to allow for emotional distancing. This freed up his intuition to work through the variables, trade-offs and similar decisions (that had been recorded in his subconscious over the years), while we chatted about other matters.

Eventually, we turned the worksheet back over and, with a quick read of the question, “bookends,” and five options, he chose the optimum one. We then immediately started discussing his next steps, while it was still fresh in his mind. We then wrapped up the meeting so that he could go ahead and implement his decision, while renewed confidence and momentum was there.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of this dilemma and its potential solution. If you have any example of your own, please share it with the blogger through the COMMENTS icon.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘Eliminating Our National Budget Deficit?’” [This is a repeat of an earlier version, since it is so topical.] We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter to connect with the blogger.)


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