It is so 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.

If it is so simple, why don’t we do it all the time?

When we get “plugged into” a conversation, we have a strong yearning to share our point of view. I urge you to have a point of view, especially in a business environment – and allow others to have a different one! Influential folks know their point of view and share it willingly.

Super-influential folks, however, transcend their point of view. They OFFER OPTIONS.

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.

Just some of the ways in which OFFERING OPTIONS works:

  • Wanna influence Senior Leadership?

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.

  • Wanna have a swell meeting with your boss?

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 potential solutions, not problems.

  • Wanna fast-forward a conversation that is stuck?

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. You have instantly widened the circle. The conversation will widen, as well. It must!

  • Wanna to have an unstrained personal relationship?

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. Faster, as well. 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-undoer. Not a caretaker of others, merely an undoer. 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.

 

About Achim Nowak

Achim Nowak is an author, speaker, C-Suite coach, and international authority on personal presence. His book The Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World (New Page Books) has just been published. His previous books have become prized resources for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives around the globe. Achim and his work have been featured on 60 Minutes, Fox News, NPR, in The New York Times and The Miami Herald.

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