THOUGHT 4 THE WEEK
Next week we shall explore Stage:4 SUPPORT
An Advocate is someone who represents someone else. But, let’s first recap where we are in our overall highly effective decision-making process!
The first and critical stage in all highly effective decision-making is to identify and accommodate the predominant behaviour of the person(s) you are with by adjusting your own personality towards their personality needs. We call this, RELATE! Without this conscious ‘role-shifting’, trust is less likely and without it, you will not be permitted to progress to stage:2 …
The second stage in highly effective decision-making is helping someone DISCOVER and AGREE what is or is not important to them. Just as going on a journey, someone needs to know where they are starting out from, and where they want to end up. See last week’s theme questions 1 & 2 as well as an example of appropriate soft fact questions.
Today, we explore Stage:3 ADVOCATE, which addresses questions 3 & 4 of our connecting theme:
3 What are the different ways of getting from where I am, to where I want to be?
4 Which ~ of all those different ways ~ is best for me right now?
An example ~ let’s say a friend asks you the best way to get from Bristol to Manchester next Monday. Your natural tendency is to promote what you would do. What you consider is best for you.
Resisting the temptation to offer your solution (“I promise never to offer a solution …”) you ask, “What alternative methods of travelling are open to you?” A soft fact question that allows them to think for themselves.
They answer, “Short of walking, I could drive or catch a train or a bus. I guess I could even fly”. They ~ not you ~ have now raised several possible solutions to which you ask, “Which are your least favourite ways to travel?” Another soft fact question that seeks their attitude, belief and opinion to what they do not want.
They reply, “I don’t fancy driving in traffic for hours on end, and I get motion sickness on long bus trips”.
“OK”, you say, “What’s left for you? Another soft fact question, to which they reply, “Well, I’d need a ride to the train station or airport. But I’m happy with either”.
You then ask, “What do you mean, you are happy with either?” This allows your friend to confirm the pros and cons of trains versus planes and they reply, “I wonder how much a plane ticket is compared with a train ticket?” To which you say, “Let’s take a look.”
The Internet shows there isn’t a huge difference between train and plane ticket prices between Bristol and Manchester on a week-day nor is there much difference in total travel time when considering airport check-in times. But, the airline includes breakfast within the ticket price.
Your friend thanks you profusely for clarifying her options and costs, and all you did was stick to the Socratic Code! You told her absolutely nothing by helping her to find out all she wanted to know for herself!
Always establish and maintain the Relationship by learning how to recognise and accommodate Primary Personality. Without it the rest will probably not be permitted.
Always help someone to Discover and Agree their problems for themselves by drawing out their attitudes, beliefs and opinions of where they are now and where they want to be.
Always be their Advocate by helping them to explore all possible solutions. Never volunteer what you know until and unless they have exhausted what they know!
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NOTE: Next week, we shall explore Stage: 3 ADVOCATE.
“I promise never to offer any solution to anyone’s problem until we have discovered and agreed that a problem exists, AND that s/he cares enough to want to do something about it”.
Elections, strikes, and conflicts are rarely based on hard facts, the things that can be measured, but on the soft facts, the attitudes, beliefs and opinions of the people involved.
Whilst always paying attention to the RELATIONSHIP (Primary Personality), the first part of all critical decision-making is to discover and agree the attitude, beliefs and opinions ~ soft facts ~ of the person you are with: the things they care about.
The Discovery process may be likened to every journey someone takes addressing the same two fundamental questions:
- Where Am I Right Now? the actual starting point, and
- Where Do I Want To Be? the desired destination
Let’s say you are attending a supper party, and someone you do not know well voices their opinion that those who desecrate monuments should receive the harshest prison sentencing. One natural response may be to argue there are more heinous crimes that warrant such punishment. All too often such opposing views lead to contention ~ watch political opponents at it ~ as well as a rather disappointing evening. Such negative outcomes are quite common in other circumstances of disagreement, too!
Using the Socratic process to address someone’s starting position (Q1), you ask, “What do you mean by the harshest prison sentencing?” This is a soft fact question. Then you sincerely listen.
Whatever their reply, you now ask something like, “Do you feel there are more serious crimes that must attract harsh sentencing?” Another soft fact question: listen intently once more.
Then, to encourage deeper thinking on their part you ask them to explain their last answer by saying, “What do you mean?” More soft fact questioning. More listening!
Socratic questioning avoids contention by allowing the speaker to reflect upon their own attitudes, beliefs and opinions. As they are encouraged to think-and-act for themselves, rather than simply react, they invariably soften, and may even amend their position. The process of Discovery has commenced.
In support of Q2 above, further questions follow the same theme and might include, “What would be a possible outcome of longer-term imprisonment for nonviolent offenders?” Soft fact. Sincere listening followed by, “Is that what you want?” This is a soft fact Agreement question that elicits what the other person wants!
A mutually beneficial outcome ~ trust ~ is being established when they tell you this is perhaps not what they want, and you then ask, “What do you want?”
Socratic questioning by the sincere enquirer enables the speaker to discover for themselves what is important to them and what they want to do about it. Such soft-fact questioning is highly effective in business, with colleagues, in families and on social occasions.
“I promise never to offer any solution to anyone’s problem until we have discovered and agreed that a problem
exists, AND that s/he cares enough to want to do something about it”.
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Note: We shall explore Stage 2: Discover in depth next week.
When I began my sales and marketing career in the early eighties the use of the unique selling point (USP), selling techniques (ST) and scripts dominated the training. Even today, many organisations hang-on to such limiting practices. At the time, and not knowing any different, I dutifully followed that mantra.
All went well for my first few weeks until I presented a well-conceived solution to a businessman who instantly recognised the phrases I was trained to employ. Needless to say, he did not become a client.
This essential lesson convinced me that techniques limit rather than enhance human communications ~ especially if your potential client has been to ‘sales-school’ too. This observation is true at work, and in family and social situations.
Feeling there had to be a better way of connecting with every person, as an individual, I sought the psychology where everyone was on the same team. Forty years later, I have yet to discover a more empowering practice of mutually beneficial decision-making.
People Really Don’t Like Making Decisions
Decision-making is about TRUST, which requires effective communication ~ even within oneself.
The following four critical stages empower all involved in the decision-making process:
- RELATE means always Maintaining a Conscious Awareness of Personality and Motivation
- DISCOVERY means Agreeing where someone is right now and where they want to be, together with the best ways of getting there
- ADVOCATE means Selecting the most appropriate Immediate Action(s), and
- SUPPORT means Confirming Immediate Action(s) and Planning Future Relevant Actions
These inseparable four companions rest upon each other’s shoulders to achieve greater emotional and financial rewards for all involved by establishing a mutually beneficial outcome.
RELATE ~ as discussed in previous papers, more relationships are damaged due to a clash of personality than for any other reason. How many times have you heard another or yourself say about a new acquaintance, “There’s something about him/her I just don’t trust!” People trust other people when we feel comfortable in their presence ~ when personality-on-personality is not in conflict!
The purpose of Primary Personality AND Motivating-values coaching is to recognise and accept one’s own behaviour traits whilst recognising and accommodating the behaviour traits of other people. This does not mean becoming someone you are not but learning to adapt or role-shift to allow others to feel comfortable when they are with you.
The consequences of failing to establish the relationship, is not being permitted to progress to Stage 2 of the decision-making process:
DISCOVERY ~ even with an agreeable relationship, most people do not like to be told what to think or feel. All too often contention ~ heated argument ~ can erupt from opposing points of view. Television and film makers centre audience appeal on such Win/Lose situations in the name of entertainment.
While most people do not like being told what to think/feel, they are willing to reveal their attitudes, beliefs and opinions to a sensitive enquirer ~ someone they can trust. Socratic questioning is the practice of helping someone discover and agree for themselves what is truly important to them in their current and foreseeable circumstances. Success here, permits Stage 3 of the decision-making process:
ADVOCATE ~ an advocate is someone who represents someone else. In law this would be the respective defence/prosecution lawyer representing their clients. To be an effective advocate means building on attitudes, beliefs and opinions by exploring immediate and future actions to resolve an agreed problem(s). This permits Stage 4, the final element in this highly effective decision-making process:
SUPPORT ~ means reassuring the decision-maker and making plans for their next decision. For most people, decision making is a high-emotion experience, especially when the problem solved was significant. Following any important decision, people often enter a period called buyers-remorse, which may last a few hours, days or even weeks. Left alone during this time of doubt, even good decisions can be reversed. It is especially critical the decision-maker has trusted people around them to act as their ongoing confidant. Planning Reviews for future actions reinforce the most recent action.
On the whole, people do not like making decisions, especially important ones. If you doubt this observation, ask yourself why more than half of British adults have not made a Will and you’ll get the message.
RELATE > DISCOVER > ADVOCATE > SUPPORT is a highly effective communication practice that simplifies an otherwise complicated human process for greater emotional and financial benefit for all involved.
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The UETP school of behavioural psychology is based on the principles of cause and effect. The stimulus/response mechanism that drives how we re/act from one of the four predominant personalities.
UETP invests more in the concept of nurture over nature. We believe learned behaviour is essentially wired from a very early age rather than innate, and manifests as one of the four Primary Personalities we call: COOL/TELLER; WARM/TELLER; COOL/ASKER; and, WARM/ASKER.
Correctly assimilated, anyone is capable of adjusting their own behaviour to accommodate the behaviour(s) of others before them. We call this role-shifting, the aim of which is to foster a mutually beneficial outcome to achieve greater emotional and financial wellbeing for all involved. A truly Win/Win outcome.
Perception Influences Behaviour
Perception is how people assess their current circumstances, and the people around them, and are founded on early life experiences ~ good and bad ~ together with their understanding or misunderstanding of those events. Each person ‘downloads’ this data as reference for today's responses.
Reacting or Psychological Immaturity
When life or limb is threatened, reacting is often an appropriate response. It is not wise to stand and think about a directly oncoming vehicle!
Most people, however, maintain a reactive rather than active stance to the world around them. For instance, they react with prejudice to stories in the news or to gossip. When someone disagrees with them, they become angry or sulk. A vehicle pushes in front and they blast the horn in annoyance or tailgate. If their flight is delayed, they become irritated or judgmental of the airline.
Acting or Psychological Maturity
Accommodating another’s Primary Personality means the worthy student consciously adjusts their behavioural responses to events, and the behaviour of others. In response, they more often attract the unconscious accommodation of the other as they too adjust their behaviour positively. We now have true potential for a mutually beneficial relationship that seeks a positive outcome for all involved. A joint venture has begun.
If Primary Personality is one side of the behaviour coin, Motivatiing-values is the other. PP is HOW one behaves. Mv is WHY one is behaving. PP, the vehicle in motion. Mv the fuel in the tank (see June 3rd, BLOG for more information).
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Forbes Magazine reveals more than 70% of people are dissatisfied with their work situation. And, as many as 90% of graduates leave their first career position within 12-months of appointment.
During the past few weeks, we revisited the four Primary Personalities describing predominant behaviour ~ HOW you and I are programmed to behave.
Today, we overview Motivation, the flipside of the behaviour coin and equally critical to achieiving and sustaining positive emotional and financial outcomes.
Motivation is WHY we do what we do or stop doing what we did and may be defined as ... our reasons for sustaining a particular action viz. what’s in it for you or me, right now?
Personal interaction sets the tone
for every outcome inside an organisation as well as in their marketplace and to a greater or lesser extent, all human motivation is *situational, meaning it ebbs and flows as prime motivators are completed or depleted.
For example, if someone's earned income stops, time may not be their best friend as money becomes a prime motivator. If, however, they received a severance package, purpose (job choice) is more likely to be a prime motivator as they have time to chase down a suitable alternative role. Those two particular extensions ~ or poles ~ fall under Financial Motivation (see 2. below).
Research reveals people seek six prime motivators, each with a polar opposite, which can shift *situationally
- Theoretical ranging from A) thinking to B) doing
- Financial ranging from A) money to B) purpose (see example above)
- Aesthetic ranging from A) form to B) function
- Social ranging from A) working with people to B) working alone
- Interactional ranging from A) collaborative to B) competitive
- Regulation ranging from A) worldly protocol to B) higher moral protocol
When plotting someone’s current motivation, it is usual to observe three predominant ‘As’ WITH three predominant ‘Bs’.
For example: appropriately motivated direct salespeople tend toward: 1B (doing); 2A (money); 3B (function); 4A (working with others); 5B (competitive); and, 6A (worldly protocol). Whilst appropriately motivated administrators tend toward: 1A (thinking); 2B (purpose); 3B (function); 4B (working alone); 5A (collaborative); and, 6A (worldly protocol).
So, Why Is Motivation So Important?
There is little doubt that certain personality styles perform more effectively within a behaviour-specific job role (see The MATRIX, 28th April). But, without an obtainable reward system in place, it is probable a personality-placed individual will eventually become dissatisfied and seek another position elsewhere, often with a competitor.
With the above in mind, can you guess why?
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Complicated IS Easy! Simple IS Hard!
*meaning any particular prime motivator can circumstancially range between the relevent poles as its current position becomes fulfilled or deficient