What is my best alternative to win my boss over: using Option Solving?

A topic that seems to come up on a frequent basis is how to handle one’s boss. In fact it came up in an option solving session with a group of executives the other week, so we set about using the technique as a way of finding an optimum immediate answer.
Quite naturally I worked with the group to formulate an appropriate question, which started with: “What is my best action going forward, considering…” Note the question starts with “What,” which is designed to engage our intuition. Our intuition is a gift we’ve been given to answer questions like this.
Now we needed to pick the right considerations, since they would further provide input to my audience’s intuitions through important factors to help sort out an optimum option. The ones we came up with included (since there were others): ‘Differences in personal orientation,’ ‘Current mutual concerns,’ and ‘Lack of confidence in each other.’ You can now view the final complete question under the Latest Example tab.
However, it’s worth noting at this point that the first consideration (differences in personal orientation) is a common issue with most “boss” difficulties. Too often people don’t take sufficient time to really understand their “boss,” in exactly the same way that they expect their boss to understand them. (Note: Recently I was dealing with multi-media professional who was experiencing difficulty winning his boss over. It turned out that his boss was a total numbers guy, who would look on multi-media as a “black art.” Hence the multi-media professional had to do a much better job of translating his work into numbers, so that his boss could relate to it.)
The next thing my group needed to do was frame things further with two “bookends.” These were the “yin and yang” extreme possibilities that come to mind from our comprehensive question. Ones that particularly came to mind were: “Do nothing” and “I need to take charge.” It is clear neither of these were particularly suitable, but they were more extreme options which helped to stimulate the group’s minds into creative activity.
Once these were in place, the group’s intuitive minds were now challenged to develop a range of plausible options between the two extremes. The first one that popped into people’s minds was: “Ask for a meeting to discuss options/meetings.” You can find the other four in our Latest Example.
With these five in place, I called for some time out for “emotional distancing.” We took to discussing some other unrelated topics for about 10 minutes. This allowed time for their intuitive minds time to subconsciously dwell on their picture of options and make the trade-offs, while focusing on other issues. Our intuitive mind does particularly well with assimilating and dissecting pictures.
They were now primed to make their best choice on behalf of their group colleague. As a group of well-informed participants, they were in a great position to add decisive wisdom through a confidential poll; which gave it even more credence. We’ll leave you to pick the one that you feel best meets the situation.
If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area. Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘What is my best next career move?’” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)


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