Problem Solving Strategy (II)

This technique helps a team of two or more people resolve a problem by creating a shared experience of an appropriate resource. The idea here is that if all involved persons are aligned with each other, any conflicts they may have had between themselves are no longer a factor in their effort to solve a given problem. This technique is not only for business teams; you can use it by working with members of the same family or even couples. When there’s a problem to be solved by more than one person, their shared interest and alignment alone might give all of them a stream of creative ideas for solving the issue. Using such a strategy might also help to mediate conflicts.

Identify a resourceful experience.

Think back to a recent time in which you’ve had an experience you could define as resourceful. It should be an event in which you were fully congruent and competent, you’ve been acting like a master and you have achieved your outcome. 

Associate into this memory. See what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt and notice how this acquired resourceful feeling actually feels like. Feelings can be expressed in terms of movement, so where and from where does this feeling go/come from?

Pre-mirroring a shared resource. 

Stand up facing your partner. Demonstrate the movement of your resourceful feeling to your partner. 

Show him or her how it feels. 

Do not speak, just move your body to illustrate the feeling. Stay associated with the memory. 

Post-mirroring a shared resource. 

Remain in the 1st position (associated) and mirror your partner’s response to your movements. That is, mimic your partner’s movements. 

Move to 2nd position.

Exchange places with your partner. Move to 2nd position and act as if you are him or her. Be sure to notice the movement you’ve elicited from yourself in step two, it will change. 

Move to 3rd position. 

Move to the observer position (third position), and carefully observe the both of you. What is similar? What seems different? Note the similarities and differences in the expression of the resourceful feeling’s movement that you and your partner show to each other. 

Back to 1st position, facing same direction. 

Move back to the first position, fully associated with the resourceful memory. You and your partner should now face the same direction, standing side by side. Now both of you begin again the resourceful feeling’s movement (each their own), and continue until you find a similar move. It can be anything, long or short, rapid or slow. This is the “we” zone. 

For teams: repeat with pairs.

If you’re doing this technique with multiple teams, work in pairs and then combine them. Repeat in the same manner so that all four, six, or eight, and so on, are eventually aligned with a shared movement that gives each his or her own subjective resourceful experience, but at the same time it is a shared one. 

Testing is easy. It involves the solution of the problem at hand! Team up and work on the problem; every time you face a conflict, re-group the same direction format and use the shared movement maneuver. If you feel a sense of “we are going to solve this one together,” you have accomplished this exercise successfully. If not, it needs to be repeated, perhaps with a stronger subjective resourceful experience of each team member. When working with teams of people that you don’t know personally, work hard first on establishing group rapport with them and establishing your position as a leader. Even if the team’s current leader (a boss, a manager, a supervisor) is present, make sure that he or she knows in advance that you’re taking this approach in order to help the group come together and not to take over his or her responsibilities or authority. The best way to initially establish leadership is to use the one-up-man-ship concept. 

That’s a concept that has been in use by churches for years. Notice how the priest is standing always higher than the public, always in fancier and special clothing, always looking calm and in control, always moving with intention, and always speaking with confidence. 

You can do the same in any setting. In business situations, dress as if you own the place and you’re the richest guy around. Walk in a consistent rhythm, not too fast and not too slow, look around and speak to mere strangers with confidence and never ever apologize. Even if you’re late, do not say “I’m sorry I’m late, but I had this or that….” Say something like, “I know I’m late so we’d better start now.” 

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