To Be or Not to Be?

A dilemma is a common occurrence throughout life and can vary widely in the degree of serious. Choosing to have either rice or noodles for lunch may not result in serious consequences but a professional decision to keep the old job or go for the new one in a different country is a complicated problem with many factors.

One approach may be to list all the pros and cons, "weigh the options" so to speak, and make a decision based on the least cons. A better way is using Solution Focused methods, especially powerful questions focused on the desired or best outcome. As a person focuses less on the cons and imagines the pros as the best desired outcomes the solution becomes more clear. A decision can be made with confidence and reassurance that the choice has been made in alignment with what they really want.

Recently, I asked this question to a person considering which class to take with a dilemma between a better professor or better support group of peers. The question was, "What would be the best outcome of each choice?" By focusing on the imagined outcomes and comparing them the student was able to make a confident choice. They chose friends! An insight they had was that "when I considered what the best outcome would be I realized that it doesn’t really matter so I’d rather just choose the class with the people that I like in it." Awareness of what really mattered to them (fellow students) helped them solve their dilemma.

Cons are problems and when the focus is on the pros, reframed as the "best outcome", a clear solution emerges. Try it out next time you or a client faces a dilemma. Share your story and let's discuss more in the FFS Forum.

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