Coming to terms with Our Boss – using Option Solving?”

Just recently, I found myself taking with two executives who were rather frustrated with their current boss relationship. He was located overseas, fairly young, very ambitious, and wanted to make his mark. This was more than reflected in his need to feel in charge and know every detail about what was going on with these two executives. What he didn’t seem to grasp was that they were smart, had long experience in the company, were clearly competent, and well respected in their roles. They didn’t feel the need to be micromanaged.

Their dilemma was how to handle this without jeopardizing their careers. So I familiarized them with the option solving technique and then we set to work.

Their first task was to create an effective question with appropriate consider-ations, which came through as: “What is our preferred option for a “meet-ing of the mind” with our boss: considering his need to be in “control,” he’s undermining morale, and he’s not helping his career?” There were two other considerations, but chose these three as the most important to minimize question complexity.

With an optimal question in play, they were now in a position to prepare two outlier “bookends.” Bookends become the extreme limits in options and a spur any participants’ intuitive creativity so that they can produce a range of more likely options. The two extremes they developed were: “Both walk out,” at one end, with, “Give our full cooperation” at the other. Why these were not acceptable are given in our Latest Example.

I now challenged them to find at least five alternatives and they went on to conjure up seven, as you will see in our Latest Example, one of them was: “Speak with him and his boss”… Option E. The other six options are there to be viewed in our Latest Example. Can you come up with others?

I then suggested they take a 10 minute break, as a form of emotional distancing. When they returned, we uncovered their option solving pictogram and they reviewed it quickly, as a reminder to their intuitive mind, and then chose the one that best met their situation. They then put together an action initiative, while it was still fresh in their minds. This would be their kick-starter.

If you have an issue example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “A surprise
example?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)


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