Focus On The Possible

Written by Judi

September 14, 2021

September 14, 2021

Take a simple household object. The glass jam jar, say. It’s a helpful food container, and not much else. We’d probably assume it to be useless for anything other than storage.

Groups on a recent Negotiating Skills workshop I delivered were faced with the challenge of examining all possible uses for basic items like this. Their ideas for the jar ranged from a sharp blade for use in heart surgery to fashionable lampshades. It’s a great exercise for stretching the imagination, and recognising that an ‘impossibility’ can be turned on its head. It develops a more open, exploratory mindset. Once you’ve limbered up on paper clips, jam jars or whatever, it can be much easier to make the leap to finding creative options to workplace challenges.

Playing with alternatives just at the point you think you’ve hit a brick wall can be liberating. It worked well for the managers on this course. They went on to explore all manner of possibilities as they role-played negotiating positions and worked towards a mutually acceptable win-win agreement.

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