What’s a colleague’s best option for keeping client further involved: using Option Solving?

A colleague was concerned about keeping a long on-off client relationship going. There were recent discussions that started the ball rolling again, although now the client became hesitant as his work commitments started piling up once more. My colleague decided to use option solving to help him think through the most likely way to keep things going.  

His related starter-question turned out to be as follows: “What is my colleague’s best option for keeping a client involved; considering 1) client has many priorities to juggle, 2) his leader may wish him to limit outside involvement, 3) he may feel contact has added insufficient value to date, and 4) he may expect certain key value going forward?Again, my colleague was encouraged to stick with only four considerations to reduce the complexity of any eventual decision, when the moment arrives: despite there being other possibilities out there.

He was then encouraged to develop two appropriate yin and yang “bookends”,as these would help keep his intuitive mind focused. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing our fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing concentration. We are mostly unaware of how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless we can keep it properly focused on such occasions.   

The two bookends that immediately came to his mind were: “Just let matters take their course”could drift away;and “Offer a completely out-of-box proposal” create a potential conflict. You will note the italicized detractors associated with these least likely options, which help to avoid shutting his other more realistic options out of consideration. Even so, these bookends will now again nudge his intuitive thinking into high gear – see ourLatest Worked Example.

It was then vital for him to come up with at least five new realistic options, although he ultimately came up with six within a decent amount of time. He was then positioned to pursue emotional distancing, which is a form of objective thinking, before making his choice sometime after that …perhaps after 2 hours, later in that day, or first thing the following morning. You can replace his proposed options with any of your own. While they were all quite pertinent, he was now particularly drawn to – Option B: Lay out a clear journey of leadership development using EL phase model. Itseemed to offer the most immediate promise for building an ongoing positive relationship. He can then always consider his other possibilities at a later date.  

Assuming he decides to stick with this new option, after some due emotional distancing; he can then proceed to putting an appropriate action initiative together – WHAT, HOW, WHO, WHEN & WHERE.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area or contact him at peter@ileadershipsolutions.com .  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Our next posting will be in two week’s time: “What is the best way to handle an invitation to join an international OD organization?” 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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