The short answer is this: It's possible with the right perspective.
Sometimes people say they are not in the right mind to solve a problem. What is actually happening is that they do not have the right perspective for what they are doing, so they are unable to bring to mind the information or solution they're looking for.
For example, if a person needs a complex work-related solution right away, it's doubtful one will come to mind when they are at the park completely in the perspective of coaching a soccer team.
But if they are at the park, and still in the perspective they use for work, it's possible that the solution they're looking for would come to mind.
We were investigating the causes of interpersonal conflicts that prevent true teamwork when we had an important realization. We could see that the perspectives that people were using when they were solving problems contained a common element.
We realized that this element could be unnecessarily limiting solutions to compromise solutions — especially when the solution involved people with a diversity of viewpoints.
So we formed a team to see if we could develop a new perspective. We discovered that when we used a perspective that didn't have that element, a new range of solutions began coming to mind, solutions that were much more of a fit for the people involved.
Most of us have had the experience of recognizing that we were not in the right mind to solve a problem and that it was preventing a solution from coming to mind. Recognizing this, we did something — we took a walk or changed our focus — in order to change our perspective. Then, after we changed our perspective, a solution came to mind.
In our case, in order to improve the solutions coming to mind when there is a diversity of viewpoints, we developed a new perspective. Now, instead of being limited to compromise solutions, people can use this new perspective to bring to mind solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved.
In most cases, cost is not a factor in reaching wholehearted agreement.
What determines whether a person will wind up with a compromise solution or a solution that everyone involved can truly agree with, is mainly the perspective they're using when they're creating the solution.
In many cases, it can wind up costing less using the perspective that we've developed.
For example, when a person can create solutions that are truly a fit for everyone involved, it eliminates the time and other resources that are required to negotiate an outcome or decide on trade-offs.
Also, solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved are the most efficient solutions to implement. There aren't the problems and costs that compromise solutions generate because of mismatches and other misalignments.
Solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved also tend to be the most effective. Because they are such a good fit, they produce the best outcomes.
Similarly, when people are truly in agreement with a solution, it's inherently motivating. And the motivation they feel can often produce an outcome that's beyond what we expected.
A disconnect is when we think we know the effect our solution is going to have, but the outcome we get is different from the one we expected.
A major cause of disconnects are solutions that are not truly a fit for the people involved. When a solution is not a fit for the people it's impacting, it can lead to outcomes that are unexpected.
This new perspective consistently brings to mind solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved, so it eliminates a major cause of disconnects.
The satisfaction of the workforce depends on how much employees are truly in agreement with the decisions and solutions that are impacting them.
When decisions and solutions impacting employees are not truly a fit for them, it tends to reduce the amount of satisfaction they're feeling.
With this new perspective, each time a solution is created that impacts the workforce, it's going to add to its satisfaction.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Ten-Year Case Study is an example of how using this perspective can produce a more efficient, effective and satisfied workforce.
Every person who learns this perspective will positively affect the people they impact. So a good place to start is to teach it to your management and other key employees. Their decisions are having the most impact on the organization and its objectives.
Your company can also target The Key to Winning Program to areas that are particularly strategic. For example, the perspective can be used to positively shape the development and marketing of an important product or service.
Or, it can be used to rapidly and successfully integrate the culture of a company that's been acquired.
Similarly, organizations operating globally can target the program to areas where there are significant cultural differences or other differences in viewpoints.
This new perspective is very good at bringing to mind information and solutions that can embrace a diversity of viewpoints. So with this perspective, people are able to communicate more effectively with others.
Also, a person with this perspective is consistently bringing to mind solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved. It has a significant impact on communications in any environment.
For example, when the people involved are in wholehearted agreement with the solutions that are impacting them, they tend to lower the protective barriers they've put up which interfere with communications.
Similarly, when people are feeling comfortable that they are going to be in agreement with the solution that is adopted, they tend to shift to more of an explorative approach, offering their experiences and ideas more freely.
One of the most serious problems in communications is that people make assumptions. This new perspective goes a long way to correct this problem. An important quality of the perspective is that it leads the person away from making assumptions, and it makes assumptions much more visible to them when they occur.
A solution created from this perspective is not a compromise.
A "compromise solution," as we're using it, is any decision or solution that doesn't have the wholehearted agreement of the people involved, or isn't truly a fit for the people it's impacting.
Once a person learns the perspective we've developed, a compromise solution is no longer their best option. This is because a new range of solutions are coming to mind. These solutions are much more of a fit for the people involved, and they invite agreement.
With this perspective, a solution is not created by negotiating. It's an entirely different process.
Instead of negotiating toward a solution, a person with this perspective is looking for a solution that everyone involved can truly agree with. It produces a much better outcome.
As long as the person with the perspective is participating in creating the solution, they can bring to mind a solution that everyone involved can truly agree with.
This is why one person with the perspective can positively affect the people they impact — even a department or division.
When everyone involved has learned the perspective, effective solutions tend to come to mind very quickly. Problem solving often takes a fraction of the time it did before.
Meetings are shorter and more enjoyable, and there is more individual time for other tasks.
Because each of the people involved have the ability to bring to mind solutions that everyone involved can truly agree with, it has a very positive effect on their interactions. And it has a very positive effect on the people they're impacting.
The most powerful moments occur when participants use the perspective at work, during the program. It's truly a powerful experience when they discover how easily they can improve an outcome, just from using this new perspective.