Here’s a scenario: as you’re just leaving the house one morning your spouse says to you:
“I think we need to move.”
Huh! How interesting! You tell her you’ll continue the conversation when you get home, and go out the door. On your way home, you see a terrific house with a ‘For Sale’ sign on it, and you buy it. You arrive home with great news:
“Honey! I just bought us a new house! We can move next week!”
What’s wrong with this story? The problem isn’t the house. In fact, it might even be the best solution. But that’s not the point. And in fact you have no idea if it might be the best solution or not. You haven’t discussed or agreed on how, if, when, why you would move, or how to factor in all of the elements that must be included in any decision to make a change.
- Do you know your spouse’s criteria around a move? Do you need to be in agreement to move forward with any decisions or action? Is there some piece of information your spouse needs to share that you are unaware of that is driving the need to make a change and has been hidden from you until now?
- What is the commensurate level of involvement for everyone on the Decision Team (i.e. family members in this case)? How will their level of involvement bias the outcome/need or where/if/when a move is necessary? What if there are several competing factors – i.e. is nearness to a school vs closeness to a job?
- What issues would need to be agreed upon for a solution to get group consensus and buy-in?
- What does the housing market look like for the sale of your house? How much is it worth and how much could you spend on a new one? What would be the time factor?
In sales, coaching, change implementations, or negotiating, the focus has been on ‘the house’. And you end up with resistance, delayed sales cycles, implementations studded with costly errors and insufficient data, regardless of the efficacy of your solution. A description of the house is the very last thing you need.
To have greater success, you’d need to begin your initiative – whether it’s sales, change management, leadership, or negotiation – by facilitating the components of systemic change first. Here’s a rule:
Until or unless everyone and everything that will touch the final solution agrees to a change, knows how to adapt congruently, and adds their two cents, they cannot buy/change.
The solution is the very last thing to take into account. Until the above happens, you might end up with the wrong house, in the wrong neighborhood, at the wrong price, with the wrong number of bedrooms. It’s not about the house.
There is no need for long sales cycles, resistance, or faulty implementations so long as you add a facilitation capability to your initiatives. Let’s start a conversation and discuss your failed initiatives, and between us, figure out new ways to have greater success.
About the Author
Sharon Drew Morgen is founder of Morgen Facilitations, Inc. (www.newsalesparadigm.com). She is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation®, the decision facilitation model that enables people to change with integrity. A pioneer who has spoken about, written about, and taught the skills to help buyers buy, she is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.