In Transforming Complaints Toward Solutions & Understanding Complaints May Point to Solutions, I introduced 12 General Areas of complaints & 10 Skeleton Keys that may open the door to solutions from the complaints.
10 Skeleton Keys
Imagine that you have a key ring of 10 Skeleton Keys. As you hear the complaint a co-discovery process of ‘what does better looks like’ happens. From this Skeleton Key ring you may be able to hand the best Skeleton Key to the person.
The Skelton Keys are:
- Direct Task Assignment;
- Reframing the Situation;
- Exceptions to Rule;
- Symptom Prescription;
- Past Successes;
- New Expectations;
- Minimal Change;
- New Location;
- When will guilt be resolved?;
- What difference will it make to them?
Each Skelton Key may work best depending on how the person frames the complaint.
“…frames (ways of seeing or defining situations) and the labels we attach to them dictate (to a greater or lesser extent) what we can see and do: Our point of view determines what happens next.” Keys to Solution in Brief Therapy. page 40
Skeleton Key – Reframing the Situation
What does the work complaint look like?
The meanings ascribed to the situation
- I know that my introverted nature is what’s keeping me from getting more challenging assignments. It seems that every time I meet with the project team the loud people get the high profile work and I always get stuck with the less glamorous projects. My introversion is ruining my career!
- The sales team is out to get me … They know that I need their receipts by the 12th of every month so I can turn in the budget and expense reports on time to the CFO. It is not my job to chase them to get me their receipts. They see me as a weak person who they can ignore. The sales team is ruining me!
What would Reframing the Situation – Skelton Key – Look Like?
Reframing: Working with someone to notice a slight shift in how they see a situation or behavior. Sometimes this shift will create sufficient movement to see the person & situation differently, allowing focus on a different frame way of viewing things.
Notice what’s different …
- Part 1: Before the next project assignment meeting take special notice to the “glamorous” and “less glamorous” projects. What is different about them? What difference do you notice in how the projects are delegated? What about you and your work ethic makes you the right fit for the projects you are asked to complete?
- Part 2: Before or during the next project assignment meeting predict who will get which assignments. During the meeting keep track of which you predict correctly.
- Part 3: How do you see “glamour” in your current project assignments?
New label and frame …
- Looking at all the sales staff you need information from choose 3 at random. What leverage & strength do you have with these 3 sales people? How do you see your strength as useful to them getting their job done?
- How are you different when you are strong? What parts are you strongest in doing?
- When speaking with these 3 sales people how do you use this strength and leverage to achieve your work? What happens when you use this strength?
- Next time you speak with the sales staff begin the conversation by stating the leverage and strength you have. Listen for how they respond…
When you start doing something different others will see that difference, and start treating you as if things are different, and you will see them seeing you as different (developing expectations of future actions) and a Cooperation Loop has begun.
This shift in framing your view and others view of you may be just enough to lead to something better.
All Skeleton Keys are meant to find Cooperation and be close enough to create progress. If the reframing doesn’t work that’s OK. Spend time talking and try something else.
What do you think?
How do you see Reframing the Situation as being helpful? What have you tried that works?