What is my best option to help celebrate Mother’s Day: using Option Solving

Your editor found himself chatting with a client the other day, who was deliberating about his involvement on Mothers’ Day:  bearing in mind he has two grown-up sons living in two far apart cities. Bearing in mind that weekend is ripe for peak airfares, it wasn’t possible to get the whole family together; notwith-standing there are other partners involved, too. Another factor that came into the picture was how he had a strong relation with one, but a more strained one with the other so had to tip-toe around arrangements.  It then seemed appropriate to raise the possibility of option solving to review his choices.

Together we fairly readily came up with the following question: “What is my best option to celebrate Mothers’ Day; considering 1) there will be two separate celebrations owing to sons in different cities, 2) sons should take charge of celebrations, 3) spread expense over two events, and 4) different son personality quirks to contend with?” These turned out to be the top four considerations, despite several others, so it will make his final conclusions easier to deal with.

Next they had to produce two yin and yang “bookends” as outlier possibilities. These would aid focusing the client’s intuitive, decision-making mind on his most realistic options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware of how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless properly focused.   

Our combined efforts created two bookends as follows: “Just let things happen” and “Make it an open check book for them”: both of which were his least likely options for the reasons given. Even so, these bookends would provide the challenge to his intuitive senses, which can be quite creative, to consider the client’s options and draw-out his most realistic one – see our Latest Worked Example.

We then worked together to produce at least five reasonable options, so as to stretch his range of possibilities as much as possible. In fact, he came up with six reasonable options, which you can review in our example. Your editor favored an option, off the bat; it was: “Option- A: Let sons decide venues within reason,” as their father –my client – was likely to be paying all or part of the bills.

With their “pictogram” now in place, the client was then encouraged to set some time aside for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making his  choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning. Whatever that choice, he could then decide whether to “Peel the Onion,” in order to expand the number of sub-insights on how to move forward, or create an immediate action initiative while everything was still fresh in his mind. He chose the latter.

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 our optimum way to celebrate an important family birthday?” 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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