The Journey to Yes

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Presented at the 2011 IA Summit.

There is a common issue facing designers across all sectors and cultures; an issue that this profession has been struggling with since the beginning – getting stakeholder buy-in. Whether it’s the use of a specific tool to help define a given end state or trying to shift a rigid process to a more flexible and creative solution, designers seemingly have to battle more often than not to get support for their approaches and solutions to both small and large scale design issues.

This presentation addresses ways that designers can sharpen their skills and start their journey to yes.

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  • Post-it note exercise... in essence we are asking the participants to create a controlled vocabulary of terms to describe issues they’ve had and continue to face in dealing with their employers. At the end of the presentation we ask them to describe the best possible corporate culture / boss / team / etc and then have them compare the two... explaining that if they want to move from the left side of the room (issues with boss) to the right side of the room (great ideas for a boss) then it takes time and incorporating the frameworks and ideas presented in this talk...\n
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  • Discuss the idea shared here about a young man who lost his brother to gang violence... “it felt really good to cry for my brother” The focus, however will be to tell the audience that they, and we all in fact, are accountable for the design process! Move away from compromises and towards reconciling our differences... (next slide)\n
  • Everyone wants to feel valued because we want to belong (go to next slide)\n
  • Starting with an overview of cognitive dissonance and how we need to stop justifying our behavior and actions / the way we communicate and start to learn to understand how others perceive the world around them.\n
  • All those economists were wrong, we want to belong because we are emotional, not rational!\n
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  • Parma Italy - research lab had a MRI brain scanning machine as the monkey tries to open the nut. A scientist opened a nut at the same time and the monkey mirrored what he saw. Mirror neurons - all primates - we expect - are soft wired with mirror neurons causing the same areas of the brain to light up based on what they are seeing. We are soft wired to experience another plight as if we are experiencing itself. \n\nWe are soft wired for sociabilitiy, attachment, affection, and companionship. The first drive the drive to BELONG! Outline the importance of empathy in communicating and connecting with others. \n\nEveryone wants to feel like what they are doing is of value and that they are valued in that process. - Dad working at DuPont Canada and learning from Covey and Krone.\n
  • Parma Italy - research lab had a MRI brain scanning machine as the monkey tries to open the nut. A scientist opened a nut at the same time and the monkey mirrored what he saw. Mirror neurons - all primates - we expect - are soft wired with mirror neurons causing the same areas of the brain to light up based on what they are seeing. We are soft wired to experience another plight as if we are experiencing itself. \n\nWe are soft wired for sociabilitiy, attachment, affection, and companionship. The first drive the drive to BELONG! Outline the importance of empathy in communicating and connecting with others. \n\nEveryone wants to feel like what they are doing is of value and that they are valued in that process. - Dad working at DuPont Canada and learning from Covey and Krone.\n
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  • Use this example as a means of describing how the IA community has communicated - starting with What and moving to Why. Then provide an example of moving from Why or the purpose of IA to the What. This ties in very well with the new philosophy for the Summit and the slogan “Demonstrate the Damn Thing”\n
  • Use this example as a means of describing how the IA community has communicated - starting with What and moving to Why. Then provide an example of moving from Why or the purpose of IA to the What. This ties in very well with the new philosophy for the Summit and the slogan “Demonstrate the Damn Thing”\n
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  • Charles Krone work... move towards an empathic corporate culture. This IS the hardest work you’ll ever undertake because it’s not about sharing this concept with everyone but rather keeping the main tenents of the framework in mind - then being accountable in the creation of this ideal. As the studies have shown in Mirror Neurons we must, as was taught to me as a Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist, model the behavior for others. \n\nOur communities are outstanding at “Talking the Talk”... however we need to be better at “Walking the Walk”. Don’t tell me - show me. “UX Show and Tell”. “Demonstrate the Damn Thing”, “Show Don’t Tell” by Rush http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A18oZixDRk0 \n
  • So let’s say you are trying to incorporate the ideas that Jeff just described, you are modeling the behavior, starting with why, and really empathizing with your team. So what’s going to happen next? You are going to face resistance.\n
  • Resistance is a natural, emotional reaction against the process of having to face up to change or difficult organizational problems. As Jeff mentioned at the beginning of his talk, we are emotional creatures, not rational ones. Resistance is a natural reaction and is not a reflection of the conversation we are having with the client on an objective, logical, rational level. It is an emotional process happening under the surface. Don’t take it personally - Defenses and Resistance are a sign that you have touched something important and valuable\n\n
  • Clients are defending against the fact that they are going to have to make a difficult choice, take an unpopular action, or confront some reality that they have emotionally been trying to avoid such as:\nSomeone having to be fired or told that they are not performing adequately\nThe client feeling inadequate in some part of the job and don’t want to face it\nThe political situation may be very risky and the manager many not want to make waves\nThe manager’s boss may be part of the problem, and the manager may not want to confront the boss\n\nResistance is about defending against some difficult reality. It is important that we help the client face the difficulties directly.\n\n\n
  • The skill in dealing with resistance is to:\nbe able to identify that resistance is taking place\nview resistance as a natural process and a sign that you are on target\nsupport the client in expressing the resistance directly\ndon’t take the resistance personally or an attack on your competence\n\n
  • First identify your own feeling, that will be the first sign. Are you feeling irritated or bored? If so, take a step back and in your mind identify what form the resistance is taking.\n\n
  • When you encounter resistance, try to understand it. Don’t take it personally!\n\nTypes of resistance:\nGive me more details\nFlood you with detail\nMethodology - grilling you about your methods, beyond just an informational understanding of the methodology. Repeated questions about method or suggestion of alternate methods can serve to delay the discussion of problems and actions. \nThe client reminding you that they live in the “real world” and accuses you of being impractical or academic \nPressing you for solutions -”Don’t talk to me about problems, I want to hear solutions” The desire for solutions can prevent the client form learning important things about the nature of the problem.\nAttack - the most blatant form of resistance, with angry words, red face, and pounding fists\nConfusion - after you explain something two or three time and the client keeps claiming to be confused or not understand\nSilence  - the client is passive and we get very little response in return\nIntellectualizing - when a person shifts the discussion from deciding how to proceed and start exploring theories and hypothesis\nMoralizing - makes great use of certain words and phrases: “those people” and “should” and “they need to understand”\nCompliance - very difficult to spot, but when someone totally agrees with you and you get no negative reaction at all you know something is missing\n\n \n\n
  • When you encounter resistance, try to understand it. Don’t take it personally!\n\nLook for client concerns about control and vulnerability. Control is the coin of the realm in organizations, the whole reward system is geared around how much control. Organizations are systems that are competitive and political, sometimes resistance comes from the feeling that you are putting the stakeholder in a vulnerable position politically. \n
  • Silence, say “You are very quiet. I don’t know how to read your silence”\n Methodology, “You are asking a lot of questions about my methods. Do you have any doubts about the credibility of results?”\n Intellectualizing, “Each time we get close to deciding what to do, you go back to developing theories to understand what is happening”\n Confusion, “You seem very confused about what we are discussing. Are you confused about the problem or just not sure what to do about it?”\n If naming the resistance isn’t helping, an option is to put into words how you are feeling about the discussion. “I feel very frustrated by this discussion. It seems my comments are treated as though they are unimportant”\n\n
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  • How you say something is equally as important as what you say\n\n
  • “San Bushman in South Africa... hide poison arrows used to hunt when conflict arises and don’t rest until they find a resolution, or better yet, a reconciliation.” \nWilliam Ury at TED “The Divide Amongst Us All”\n
  • In order to reach a reconciliation, you can user some assertive techniques to strengthen your position\nFogging\nCalmly acknowledging that there may be some truth in a critique without becoming anxious or defensive.\nNegative Assertion\nAgreeing with hostile or constructive criticism of your negative qualities, allowing you to be more comfortable in your own behavior without feeling defensive or anxious.\nBroken Record\nCalm repetition of what you want over and over again, without having to rehearse argument or angry feelings beforehand.\nSelf-Disclosure\nThe acceptance and initiation of discussion of both the positive and negative aspects of your personality, behavior, lifestyle, intelligence to enable you to comfortably discuss aspects of yourself that previously caused feelings of ignorance, anxiety, or guilt. \n\n\n
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  • The Journey to Yes

    1. 1. “Im Starting With The Man In The Mirror Im Asking Him To Change His Ways And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place) Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change”- Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror
    2. 2. The Journey to YesPresented by Alla Zollers & Jeff ParksIA Summit 2011
    3. 3. Influence
    4. 4. “The conductor doesn’tmake a sound - he dependsfor his power on his ability tomake other people powerful!I realized my job was toawaken possibility in otherpeople... Who am I beingthat my players eyes are notshining?”Benjamin ZanderTED
    5. 5. Everyone wants to feel thatthey are valued, and thatthey are valuable to theprocess
    6. 6. “...humans are creatures whospend their lives trying toconvince themselves theirexistence is not absurd.”Albert CamusExistentialist Philosopher on CognitiveDissonance
    7. 7. We are emotional creatures,not rational ones.
    8. 8. How do we influence?
    9. 9. Monkey See. Monkey Feels!We want to relate to each other.because we are homo-empathicus.
    10. 10. Model the behavior you want to see,others will naturally mirror it.
    11. 11. Be aware of how you are perceived by others
    12. 12. “People don’t buy ‘what’ you do. People buy ‘why’ you do it!” Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action TED
    13. 13. Appeal to emotions, start with the “why”
    14. 14. Slow Down, Listen, Question for Clarity
    15. 15. Create an Empathic Corporate Culture Everyone experiences a sense of individuality and self-expressionThere is an ability to reason There is a capacity to express and exchange compassion to develop close ideas with others. Sense of relationships Value There is a drive towards A way of reacting with spontaneity, actions, self-expression integrity, and integration exists. and creative experiences.
    16. 16. Resistance
    17. 17. Resistance is an emotional process
    18. 18. Resistance is discomfort expressed indirectly
    19. 19. Manage Resistance Identify it Name it Wait
    20. 20. Identify it: Use your ownfeelings as a gauge
    21. 21. Name it:Resistance has many faces
    22. 22. Name it: Resistance has many facesLook for concernsabout control and vulnerability
    23. 23. Wait:Leave room for the response
    24. 24. “Authentic behaviorwith a client meansyou put into wordswhat you areexperience with theclient as you work.This is the mostpowerful thing youcan do to have theleverage you arelooking for and theto build clientcommitment”Peter BlockFlawless Consulting
    25. 25. Reconcile
    26. 26. Reconcile instead of compromise
    27. 27. FoggingNegative AssertionBroken RecordSelf-Disclosure
    28. 28. We are emotional
    29. 29. We are emotionalWe want to belong andbe valued
    30. 30. We are emotionalWe want to belong andbe valuedResistance is natural
    31. 31. We are emotionalWe want to belong andbe valuedResistance is naturalDon’t take it personally
    32. 32. We are emotionalWe want to belong andbe valuedResistance is naturalDon’t take it personallyBe authentic and assertive
    33. 33. We are emotionalWe want to belong andbe valuedResistance is naturalDon’t take it personallyBe authentic and assertiveThis is a lifelong journey
    34. 34. Thank you! Go Get ‘Em!Alla: azollers@gmail.com@azollersJeff: jefferyparks@gmail.com@jeffparks
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