What is my best option for keeping my boss on-board: using Option Solving?

It was only a number of weeks ago that I found myself talking with an executive on how to keep her boss on-board. As part of a sizeable organization, she had done well and risen to a fairly important role. But, the talents she used for rising to her current position were now starting to create political waves. One of those talents was being candid about what needed to be done to keep customers on board – politics be damned! She had lashed out at more than one senior colleague about not stepping up to the plate, in order to help customers out, but now these colleagues were beginning to bite back to defend their reputations.

We discussed the advantages of option solving before taking up her political battles, since it facilitated the “opportunity to think before acting.” With this in mind, her next challenge was regrouping with her boss in an effort to turn over a fresh leaf. After walking her through the option solving technique, she then produced a question as follows to start the option solving ball rolling: “What is my best option for keeping my boss on board; considering 1) HR is convincing him to drop his support, 2) HR is making this a bigger crisis than necessary, 3) I have my reputation to protect, and 4) I’m being closed out due to prior events?” You will notice she alluded to her four most important considerations, even though there were probably others, so as not to overly complicate her decision task.

Now she turned to creating two yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as her extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus her intuitive faculties toward her most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Her yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Just resign” and “Crawl back into my company’s favor,” both of which seemed the least likely possibilities: but at least they would challenge her to think through her most realistic possibilities – see our Latest Worked Example.

From here she was encouraged to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch her range of possibilities. You will see where she, in fact, produced six realistic options for her to consider before turning to emotional distancing. Feel free to review her potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-F: Become an independent contractor.”

With the “pictogram” she had now created, she would now set it aside for some time while she pursued some emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making her choice. Emotional distancing would allow her intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of her similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

Within 24 hours, maybe an hour or two, she would revisit her pictogram and, after a few moments, make her intuitive choice. She would be wise not to second-guess herself, since by doing so she would likely over-rule her best instincts and make a poor choice. In other words, despite any potential misgivings, stick with your choice and work it through into a doable action initiative. Then stick with your initiative and, apart from some departure points along the way, where new option solving gambits could be pursued, you are most likely to come away with optimum (not perfect) success.

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 two week’s time: “What is my best option for turning XYZ Region around in a timely fashion?” 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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