The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Managers Worse than Teens when Creating Options!

November 9th, 2017

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71% of managerial decisions are made based on two choices: should I do this or should I not? This percentage is just a little worse than a teen’s.


So what?


Decisions made from binary choices have a failure rate of 50%! However, if you were able to add just one more option, the failure rate falls by almost 50% – bringing it down to about 30%. * When you are hasty in identifying options, the chance of failure is a pretty strong bet!


What to do?


Ask four questions to identify options:

1. When thinking of options, go beyond the first couple that come to mind and ask “And What Else?” (the AWE question) of yourself and others to expand options.

Stay curious and truly listen. Resist the natural urge to rush to resolution.

2. Keep asking the AWE question until you get to “there’s nothing else,” with the goal of generating three to five options.

3. Then, of all the options, ask “which one do I/we really believe will work?”

4. Once you have chosen, ask “What would things look like if I/we got what I/we really wanted – if I/we could achieve the ideal outcome?” Identify how you and others would feel and act, how things would be different/better, etc.

5. Once you have answered the 4th question, you can begin to plan your path forward by answering this question:

What things can I/we do, that are within my/our power, to move toward the ideal outcome?

Armed with a clear identification of options and what you want, you are ready to start action planning – and are more likely focused on a sound alternative.

*Study by Paul Nutt reported in “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier, Box of Crayons Press, 2016

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