"Change Through Modelling" Conversations
Posted on December 06, 2011 by Robert McFadden
How to get the results - and harmony - you want from any conversation, discussion, or confrontation.
Experience eventually teaches us that when we try to induce change in others by pointing out flaws or suggesting improvements, our desired outcomes seldom follow. Change Through Modelling conversations take an alternative approach. Based on the idea that we can most effectively lead change in others through modelling the behaviour we seek, this approach proposes that we first render the support we need to those whose behaviour we want to change. Expecting the cooperation of someone with whom we ourselves are unwilling to cooperate is a spectacularly unproductive strategy. Anticipating collaboration from someone who has benefited from our support is.
Change Through Modelling conversations involve a cycle of 3 phases: Initiation, Inclusion, and Alignment. In the Initiation phase, we clarify and express the need we want to have respected. This is done without providing a solution or plan of action for its accomplishment. A short, direct statement is used for opening the door to a collaboratively created strategy and accord. Our task in the Initiation phase has two parts: 1) to identify your simple, clear, and uncontroversial need for a fundamental relationship principle to be respected; and 2) to invite our conversational partner to participate in developing and implementing a solution.
In the Inclusion phase, we seek to fully understand and appreciate the point of view formed by our conversational partner in response to our initial statement. This response may be very closely aligned with our own perspective, or it may bring into play a whole other set of unexpected concerns. Our focus here is not to ascertain the “truth” of the situation. In Change Through Modelling conversations there is no “correct” understanding or interpretation of our statement. To the contrary, the understanding formed by our conversational partner is, at that moment, the only reality that matters. The question “did you understand me correctly?” is replaced with “what do you understand from what I said?” Our sole concern in the Inclusion phase is to assure our understanding and appreciation of the understanding formed by our conversational partner.
In the Alignment phase, we first seek to resolve the issue raised by our conversational partner. We do this by proposing solutions to our own contributions to the issue, then offering suggestions for dealing with 3rd party influences: other people, schedules, situations, and so on. We then offer our conversational partner the opportunity to consider their possible contributions, and – keeping in mind those experience lessons mentioned at the outset – specifically stay away from making our own suggestions or comments. Once we have come to an agreement for resolving our conversational partner’s issue, it is time to reframe our initial statement and check for any unresolved concerns we may still have. If a viable solution to our initial need is still missing, another pass through the Change Through Modelling conversation cycle may be required, or outside assistance sought.
For more information on Change Through Modelling conversations and to receive a free copy of the complete step-by-step process, email robert@createRapport.com or call Robert McFadden at +1 438.288.6569.
“Change Through Modelling” Conversations © Robert McFadden, 2011