Management Professionals
Personal Message from Anne Warfield

Outcome Thinking® came to be because I kept searching for a way for people to speak candidly but kindly. I believe conflict is good and necessary in order to have creativity and innovation, yet I find the way people handle conflict is poor.

So what if I had to boil it all down to one thing, that if everyone filtered their thoughts and actions through it first, it would fundamentally change the way you communicate and act? What would that one thing be?

I would boil it down and have us all evaluate what we do through one core fundamental but before I share what it is, we need to understand what blocks us from starting with that one core thing.

There is a desire to belong and connect in all of us. This desire to connect and our brain's desire to protect us and create order in our world, leads us to begin to identify with certain groups or causes. The easiest place to see this is in High School where kids identify with a certain group and you are either in or out of that group. The problem isn't in the groupings, the problem is that we make the grouping be the all or nothing of our decision-making because we want to be accepted by that group. So we then often put on blinders and accept everything in that group or cause. This means that we take the good and the bad in that group or cause.

So, as the base what we need is, not connection as that causes us to take good and bad, but rather a lens that starts with good versus bad. Good meaning it doesn't violate any other person, is respectful, and is based on strong positive values that enrich the world-we centered. Ironically it typically follows the 10 Commandments. Bad meaning anything that takes away or devalues another person, doesn't show respect, and is based on bad intent versus good intent-me centered.

Each group, cause, company, etc. all houses some good and some bad. Our brain's job is to filter everything through the good meter first and group/cause second. This means instead of identifying ourselves and others by race, religion, political grouping, sex, sexual preference etc. and accepting ALL that is in that group good and bad; we first identify with the good and positive values and secondarily the good things in the grouping/cause we most identify with. Therefore, it means that I can challenge a group or cause I believe in if I don't feel the value, person, or ask aligns with good values held in priority.

I remember teaching Feminism in college and I was shocked by how the group of women thought if you are a feminist it meant men are the enemy. I said, "feminism just means we want equality but it doesn't mean the men are the enemy. Some men want to be our best partners in helping us reach equality. Bring those men in on the ride." This is a great example of a group using the filter of connecting first which meant if we are to be about women then men must be bad.

1. Catch yourself if you find you think in absolutes- "all do..." and then stop and look first for the good. If we all filter EACH situation and each person through whether they are doing good and all other groupings come secondarily it is easy to make decisions because you always align with your values.

2. Then look at processes in your company that may be blocking good. For example, in politics I think if we did just ONE thing it could greatly change the moral quandary we are often in with voting for a political candidate and determining where that candidate truly stands on issues. That ONE thing is EACH BILL must stand on its own. Therefore NO adding of things to a bill as that then puts the brain in to a constant state of having to at times accept the bad that is slipped in in order to do the greater good. Let's get rid of that and only do the greater good. As a public it would make it very easy for us to see how our politician voted on the items relevant to us as each individual bill can then be grouped to see the pattern of voting.

3. Keep processes clean and keep focusing on strong values that help aligns with good.

PS. We would love to hear how you like the Daily Motivations! Hope you are enjoying them!

PS If you want to find out how to think and speak holistically and strategically join us for our upcoming Managing Your Strategic Message Session for Leaders. Learn More

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Outcome Thinking® Solution

How to ask for creativity and tell people no to ideas without stopping their flow

by Anne Warfield

I really need my team to step up to the plate and be more creative. I find they keep coming to me to hand them ideas on how to solve problems, run projects, or work better with business units we service. The problem is each time I ask them to be more creative, the ideas they bring me aren't probable.

So then I find myself in the awkward position of shooting down their idea and telling them we can't do it. That then makes them go quiet and not offer ideas. Do I just run with some of the half-baked ideas they have or is there a better way to do this?

Other Person's Perspective:
Your team wants to perform well and provide you with solutions.

Thinking it Through Using Outcome Thinking®:
First of all you have to take in to consideration the following things:

1. Is there knowledge I have about some of these situations that my team does not? This could be due to meetings you are in and they are not, situations you have faced but they have not, or even just experience level.

2. Is there something I may be unintentionally doing that could be blocking my team? Like are you making facial expressions that show you disagree with them? Do you cut them off while speaking? Do you just take over and dismiss them?

3. Am I creating an environment that allows for mistakes and brainstorming?

Best Handled/Phrased:
In order to change this, you first as a leader need to allow them the space to let them dialogue openly with you.

So I would follow these steps:

1. Have a meeting and say "today we are going to look at what we need to do differently as a team in order to be more creative in our solutions to situations. I realize this requires us to candidly look at how to create the right atmosphere for us to be creative, candidly talk about what we should do if a solution isn't fully baked or won't work- how do we address that without hampering the person who offered it up, and what I maybe doing or not sharing that causes you to not want to be as creative? As these things I should stop doing."

2. "So let's start with what is the right atmosphere for us to have creativity?" Let the group list what they think should be created.

When they get to what they need from you, try to NOT defend but instead listen to what they need and offer ways they can call you out on any behaviors or words you may use that blocks them.

Lastly, start doing more teaching in your team meetings. Take a situation and walk them through what you did, why you did it, and what ideas did you think of but not implement due to some flaw in them?

Remember you are the teacher, not the doer. It is your job to help grow their brains, not just tell them what to do.


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How To Structure Your Message So They Hear It

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"In the past when I would present I had a tendency to ramble with no clear thought of setting up the message or delivering the message correctly.

Now that I've attended Managing Your Strategic Message I've learned how to create and deliver a concise and clear message. I present with a focus on the audience and "what is in it for them?" I encourage you to take the course and learn about Outcome Thinking. It's a positive way to change ones self and to focus on the outcome of the presentation."

Lakshmi Buddhavarapu, LMS Leader, Medtronic

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