It is ridiculously simple.
You want to advance the discourse in a conversation? OFFER OPTIONS. Yes, simple. OFFERING OPTIONS works in absolutely every context, every relationship, over every hurdle. Every time.
If it is so simple, why don’t we do it all the time?
When we get “plugged into” a conversation, we tend to have a strong yearning to share our point of view. Mind you, please have a point of view, especially in a business environment – and please allow someone else to have a different one. Influential folks know their point of view and have the courage to share it willingly.
Super-influential folks, however, transcend their point of view. They OFFER OPTIONS.
I always say don’t make plans, make options.”Jennifer Aniston
Not one option. No, OPTIONS. When I offer only one option, you and I will get lost in the one-option-debate.
When I offer multiple options, I have put a wide frame-of-possibility around the conversation. Our chat will suddenly propel itself forward. It has to.
Here are just some of the ways in which OFFERING OPTIONS will transform any situation and amplify your value to others.
You are about to present information to your organization’s Senior Leadership Team. Do not simply recite a pack of research data. Do not merely offer one solution. Senior Leadership does not wish to be forced into your one option. When you offer multiple options, YOU paint a compelling picture of a potential future landscape. And you let THEM own the decision which you have so compellingly framed.
They make the decision. The decision has been potently influenced by the options you offered.
Do not show up at your bi-weekly meeting with your boss, asking her to trouble-shoot for you. Don’t waste her time. YOU are getting paid to trouble-shoot. Test options with your boss. Invite your boss to respond to potential options, not to problems. The options you test with your boss will energize your boss AND you!
When a conversation at a team gathering is going round and round in circles, don’t participate in the circular conversation. OFFER OPTIONS. Not just one – multiple options. Test your options with the team. Your options will instantly widen and reframe the circle of conversation. They simply must!
With every decision you make with your spouse – where to dine, what appliance to buy, where to vacation, what gifts to purchase – OFFER OPTIONS. The less you drive a conversation with one solo option, the smoother all of your conversations will go. They will be quicker. They will be less contentious. And they will be co-owned. Nice, right?
Here’s the short-term effect of OFFERING OPTIONS.
You don’t get stuck in the crap. You don’t generate crap. You’re a crap un-doer. Not a caretaker of others, merely an un-doer. Every single person you engage with will appreciate you for that.
The long-term effect.
Folks will seek you out. Because you’re not a crap person, you’re an OPTIONS person. We, in fact, cannot wait to talk to you because you are an OPTIONS person. And we so enjoy engaging with you.
This may not have been your motive for being the one who OFFERS OPTIONS, but you have just become highly influential. Super-duper-influential.
So simple. So powerful.