What is my best collaboration option with a fellow professional: using Option Solving?

At a recent conference a couple of fellow professionals were talking about collaborating around a survey one of them (A) was using. His opposite number (B) showed a lot of interest, but it was some time later that A discovered that B was using the comparable Myers Briggs (MB) survey by looking at his business card. It had the designation MBTI on it. ‘A’ had made a commitment but sensed the possibility of B using the occasion purely to satisfy his curiosity.

Afterward A spent some time talking with your author about the prospect of B reviewing his online survey. He was concerned about B not giving it serious consideration because he had invested so much time in becoming a licensed user of MB, and therefore would just go through the motions. He wanted to find an option for backing away from his offer without either side losing face. So the idea of option solving was discussed and used by A to resolve his dilemma.

We fairly soon started framing an appropriate rational question: which turned out to be: “What is my best option for sharing a new survey with another fellow professional: considering 1) he is already an MBTI practitioner, 2) he is pursuing his own brand, 3) his sincerity might be in question, and 4) he could offer another outlet for A’s new survey?” We came up with several more considerations, but he chose to stick with the four listed without his decision approach becoming any more complex.

He was then encouraged to produce two “bookends” to function as his yin and yang extreme possibilities. Bookends would focus his intuitive mind on his most realistic set of options. The bookends he selected were: “Not pursue” and “Offer a contract,” both of which he felt were his least likely options. Because our intuitive minds can so easily be distracted, bookends help keep them focused and on track – see our Latest Worked Example.

Your author then encouraged him to produce at least five realistic options to stretch his creativity as much as possible; which you will notice he did.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see those five options, one of those proposed was: “Option E – Let him test it out on a couple people he knows and trusts.”

With his “pictogram” now in place, indicating all five options, it was now time for him to engage in some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder these options, now they were all in place, while he purposely went about doing other important things for the next couple of hours. It will also enable him to be more objective when he returned to this pictogram to make his optimum choice.

When he returned to his face-down “pictogram,” he turned it face-up, studied it for a few moment refresher, and then made is intuitive choice. Once he made that choice, it was important for him to stick with it and create an associated action initiative, while it was still fresh in his mind. Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in five week’s time [vacation is due for your author]: “What is the best way to re-align with our customers’ expectations?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)


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