Notice how many times a day the word “or” infiltrates your conversation.
Language is a key to how we think about a situation or problem.
When you say “or” you declare that there are only two viable possibilities for consideration.
Is that true “or” is this binary choice expedient? Lol.
What if “or” is simply evidence of a mental shortcut?
If so, it helps to recognize it for what it is. A Shortcut. When you’re in action mode…moving through your priorities for the day…hundreds of things compete for your attention. It’s easy to understand why taking time to consider more possibilities and perspectives could contribute to feeling overwhelmed.
That’s why it’s critically important that you recognize situations when binary choices limit your potential for new solutions that produce better outcomes. When are binary choices not good enough?
- If you face complex problems.
- When conflict doesn’t resolve satisfactorily.
- You are stuck in a familiar pattern.
- Orthodoxy doesn’t cut it anymore.
Suggestions for creating new solutions:
1. Listen for where and when “or” shows up in conversation.
2. Clarify where each choice falls short in it’s potential.
3. Where have you seen something similar? Is there a pattern?
4. Ask everyone, what would a best outcome look like?
5. What else would have to be possible to nail the best outcome?
6. What’s one thing you can do differently and learn as you go?
I’m not suggesting that you complicate things unnecessarily.
On the other hand, when you’re stuck in a cycle of unintended consequences or battling it out in conflict that doesn’t resolve itself satisfactorily…it’s time to seek new puzzle pieces.
Explore more perspectives and find the grain of truth in each of them.
Once you’ve expanded the possibilities you can work with, then begin the process of evaluating which have the greatest potential and the least amount of downside.
Often our best outcomes originate in unexpected places.
Stop limiting yourself with binary choices.