Other Peoples Viewpoints

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Creativity Techniques
Other Peoples Definitions

If anything concrete is to happen, the real ‘last word’ is that of the organisation and personnel whose approval and compliance are essential. Therefore it is vital to understand their viewpoints.

DeBono and others, suggest this exercise that is particularly suited to people problems where three or four parties have different views about a situation, and works well with a group of 16 or so. It proposes a means of achieving multiple perspectives on the issue under consideration.

  1. Create a list of the key three or four people or roles in the problem area and get the client to describe the people and roles concerned and to answer enquiries.
  2. Separating the group into small teams, allocate one role to each team then each group should attempt to ‘get into the shoes’ of its role, role-playing it in the full theatrical sense if they are inclined. The intention is to be able to look at the world from this party’s viewpoint.
  3. Either descriptively or as a role-play, each group should give a presentation of its characters viewpoint to the other groups. The viewpoint should comprise both personal and role-related issues. For instance any particular role may have some concerns to do with current projects, etc., and others to do with family and personal career, and yet others to do with attitudes, habits, prejudices, etc.
  4. This can be taken on to a second stage by forming a series of negotiating teams where each has one representative from each of the original role teams. Each negotiating team has to try to reach agreement about the issue.
  5. Finally each group reports back to the others on how they got on.
  6. Take time out to carefully reflect on the events.
  7. A fundamental negotiating technique is to try to spot areas of agreement, partial disagreement and major disagreement, then try to increase the un-controversial areas by attempting to reach agreement on the least tricky areas, where there is partial agreement, leaving the major disagreements till the end. Even in apparently impossible situations, this technique can be surprisingly productive.