A Gardner I am not, but a few years ago some Raspberries were transplanted and took over the North side of my house. As I was taking my evening stroll in my yard, I noticed that they were loaded with sweet red berries. I decided to spend the time picking several quarts of the elusive red berries. Red raspberries and a cup of ice cream sure sounded good to me.

The raspberries were elusive because every time I thought all were picked, more would appear when a leaf or bush was moved and another angle of view was used. After going over the entire growth in one direction, more missed berries were noted on the way back. So a simple task of picking the berries turns into a hunting mission!

As a manager, supervisor or salesperson we often take a situation we face, quickly evaluate and then act. My question is, “How many berries have we missed?” “Could there be other information or solutions that are hidden under another leaf?” “Was the elusive right answer missed?”

This is where Outcome Based Thinking comes in. If we follow the steps and actually dig into the steps deep enough, it can change our view and solution to the situation we face. After all our purpose in most situations is to create an opportunity or eliminate a problem.

We can also look at trying to avoid Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome!” How many of us have fallen into this trap?

What if you could find alternate solutions, more creative solutions and have different outcomes to the situations you face today? How much time, effort and frustration might be saved? Here are 6 steps to getting a different outcome!

1. What are your real expectations in this situation? Are they clearly defined so you can have a strong focus? Do others understand the expectation and focus as well?

Jerry continually falls just short of his monthly objectives. So which your outcome is the most desirable: 1.) getting the objectives on track, or 2.) getting Jerry’s performance on track? How do the two different questions change your focus?

My suggestion is to ask yourself at least six different objectives, write them down and then compare, combine or prioritize them into one very focused objective that will address all or most of the six. Now you’re not leaving berries on vine.

2. How well do I understand the other person or party? What don’t I know about them and their view of the situation? How can I find more of their “berries”? What is it they may really want out of this?

So what does Jerry want out of his work? How did he get into the position? What motivates him? What are his values, beliefs, perceptions of the situation? What are his expectations in this situation? In short, “What’s in it for him from his view, not yours?”

The suggestion here is to find out as much as one can about the situation and the other parties involved to gain an understanding of how they may be viewing it. Do the research, ask questions, talk to people and use other resources until you have a greater understanding of their position. Come up with at least six key motivators for the other party.

3. Determine a “Stop Loss Point”. In other words, at what point is the situation not a win – win for either side. At what point does the situation become to burdensome or the return in time and effort just is not there?

Jerry is just unwilling to make any changes in his thinking, habits or skills, even after multiple attempts. Do we continue to put effort into the situation?

Far too many times I have seen people (including myself) “Marry” an issue or idea well past the “Stop Loss Point” and end up with more frustration and problems because of it. Unless you’re Superman you do not have to save the world! Let it go!

4. What are the potential hurdles, resistance or problems that may arise from the situation? Am I looking at all the internal and external influences that can affect it?

If we can get Jerry turned around what affect will it have? If we can’t get the performance how will it affect us? Knowing what Jerry wants, what affect will it have on other areas if he gets it? Who else might any given solution affect? In what way?

My suggestion is to list all the different areas the situation may affect and how they may be affected. What barriers or resistance might come from these areas?

5. In what ways can we turn the hurdles and resistance into a positive? Take the items in step four and turn them into reasons for rather than against.

Jerry feels he has reached his ability limit in the position and does not know what to do. How do you take this and turn it into a positive for him? What might be some solutions that will keep you within your “Stop Loss Point”? How could you approach him on this?

The more information acquired in step two, the more powerful this step becomes. How do you fit your solutions into Jerry’s values, beliefs and perceptions? How do you get him to create his own solution?

6. The Action, what action does each party have to take to make the solution work? What is the time line? Who is accountable? Accountable to whom?

Jerry has agreed to a plan of action and accountability to meet his new personal performance goals which he has developed.

This may seem a bit much for some problems and yet if that problem is reoccurring or you are not achieving what you want, maybe it’s how you think and approach things? Are you seeing and finding all the berries in the patch?

If you have reoccurring situations that create frustration and loss for you, give the Six Steps of Outcome Based Thinking a try. We call this “Billionaire Thinking” because successful people apply this process in all aspects of their lives. How would this type of thinking affect you or your team?

Many of our participants in training comment, “This really makes me think differently.” or “I never really looked at it that way before.” That is the power of Outcome Based Thinking.

For more on problem solving, creative thinking, innovation or coaching, contact Business Architects through their web site at www.busarc.com. Outcome Based Thinking is based on the book Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Kevin Hogan www.kevinhogan.com

Author's Bio: 

With over 25 years of experiance in the business development arena. Harlan has worked with all types of business in develping soft skills for thier teams. www.BusArc.com