How is it possible to have wholehearted
agreement when people's viewpoints are diverse?
The short answer is this: It's possible with the right perspective.
Sometimes people say they are not in the right mind to solve a
problem. What is actually happening is that they do not have the right
perspective for what they are doing, so they are unable to bring to
mind the information or solution they're looking for.
For example, if a person needs a complex work-related solution right
away, it's doubtful one will come to mind when they are at the park
completely in the perspective of coaching a soccer team.
But if they are at the park, and still in the perspective they
use for work, it's possible that the solution they're looking
for would come to mind.
We were investigating the causes of interpersonal conflicts that
prevent true teamwork when we had an important realization. We could
see that the perspectives that people were using when they were
solving problems contained a common element.
We realized that this element could be unnecessarily limiting us to
compromise solutions — especially when the solution involved
people with a diversity of viewpoints.
So we formed a team to see if we could develop a
new perspective. We discovered that when we used a
perspective that didn't have that element, a new range of
solutions began coming to mind, solutions that were much
more of a fit for the people involved.
Most of us have had the experience of recognizing that we were not in
the right mind to solve a problem and that it was preventing a
solution from coming to mind. Recognizing this, we did something
— we took a walk or changed our focus — in order to change
our perspective. Then, after we changed our perspective, a solution
came to mind.
In our case, in order to improve the solutions coming to mind when
there is a diversity of viewpoints, we developed a new perspective.
Now, instead of being limited to compromise solutions, people can use
this new perspective to bring to mind solutions that are truly a fit
for the people involved.
cost more for everyone involved to be in wholehearted agreement with
In most cases, cost is not a factor in reaching wholehearted
What determines whether a person will wind up with a compromise
solution or a solution that everyone involved can truly agree with, is
mainly the perspective they're using when they're creating the
In many cases, it can wind up costing less using the perspective
that we've developed.
For example, when a person can create solutions that are truly a fit
for everyone involved, it eliminates the time and other resources
that are required to negotiate an outcome or decide on
Also, solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved are the
most efficient solutions to implement. There aren't the problems and
costs that compromise solutions generate because of mismatches and
Solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved also tend to
be the most effective. Because they are such a good fit, they
produce the best outcomes.
Similarly, when people are truly in agreement with a solution, it's
inherently motivating. And the motivation they feel can often produce
an outcome that's beyond what we expected.
this new perspective increase the satisfaction of a workforce?
The satisfaction of the workforce depends on this: how much employees
are truly in agreement with the decisions and solutions that are
When decisions and solutions impacting employees are not truly a fit
for them, it tends to reduce the amount of satisfaction they're
With this new perspective, each time a solution is created that
impacts the workforce, it's going to add to its satisfaction.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield
Ten-Year Case Study is an example of how using this
perspective — using solutions that the people involved can
truly agree with — produces a more efficient, effective
and satisfied workforce.
would our company get the most benefit from this
Every person who learns this perspective will positively
affect the people they impact. So a good place to start is
to teach it to your executives. Their decisions are having
the most impact on the organization and its objectives.
Your company can also target The Key to Winning Program
to areas that are particularly strategic. For example,
the perspective can be used to positively shape the
development and marketing of an important product or
Or, it can be used to rapidly and successfully integrate the culture
of a company that's been acquired.
Similarly, organizations operating globally can target the program to
areas where there are significant cultural differences or other
differences in viewpoints.
does the perspective improve communications?
This new perspective is very good at bringing to mind
information and solutions that can embrace a diversity of
viewpoints. So with this perspective, people are able to
communicate more effectively with others.
Also, a person with this perspective is consistently bringing to mind
solutions that are truly a fit for the people involved. It has a
significant impact on communications in any environment.
For example, when the people involved are in wholehearted agreement
with the solutions that are impacting them, they tend to lower the
protective barriers they've put up which interfere with
Similarly, when people are feeling comfortable that they are going
to be in agreement with the solution that is adopted, they tend to
shift to more of an explorative approach, offering their experiences
and ideas more freely.
One of the most serious problems in communications is that people make
assumptions. This new perspective goes a long way to correct this
problem. An important quality of the perspective is that it leads the
person away from making assumptions, and it makes assumptions much
more visible to them when they occur.
you sure a solution created with this perspective isn't really a
A solution created from this perspective is not a compromise.
When people are using compromise solutions, they are making
concessions. They are in agreement with compromising because they
believe it is their best option for a solution. But the solution is
not truly a fit for them.
Once a person learns this new perspective, a compromise solution is no
longer their best option. A solution that people can truly agree with
So when viewpoints are diverse, a person with this perspective is
not looking for a compromise solution. Instead, they're looking for
a solution that is truly a fit for the people involved.
would this perspective benefit us in negotiations?
With this perspective, a solution is not created by negotiating.
It's an entirely different process.
Instead of negotiating toward a solution, a person with this
perspective is looking for a solution that everyone involved can
truly agree with. It produces a much better outcome.
happens if only one person has the perspective?
As long as the person with the perspective is participating in
creating the solution, they can bring to mind a solution that everyone
involved can truly agree with.
This is why one person with the perspective can positively affect the
people they impact — even a department or division.
happens if everyone in the group has the perspective?
When everyone involved has learned the perspective, effective
solutions tend to come to mind very quickly. Problem solving often
takes a fraction of the time it did before.
Meetings are shorter and more enjoyable, and there is more
individual time for other tasks.
Because each of the people involved have the ability to bring to
mind solutions that everyone involved can truly agree with, it has a
very positive effect on their interactions. And it has a very
positive effect on the people they're impacting.
are the most powerful moments in The Key to Winning Program?
The most powerful moments occur when participants use
this perspective in their business and personal lives during
the program. It's truly a powerful experience when they
discover how easily they can improve an outcome, just
from using the new perspective.