10 Skeleton Keys
Imagine that you have a keyring of 10 Skeleton Keys. As you hear the complaint, a co-discovery process of ‘what does better looks like’ happens. From this Skeleton Keyring, you can hand the 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.
It is not a question of “if change happens?” but “When will it happen?” “When” describes the moment of the event and is not in the least conditional. – Steve de Shezer
Skeleton Key – Resolution of Guilt
What does the workplace complaint look like?
The question of who or what is to blame
- I’m unsure how it is happening, & I know that Maria is working against me. She is still sore that I got this promotion. She applied for it & when I was hired, I was told that she would be the most challenging to manage.
- The vendor is consistently sending the wrong items. My manager needs me to ‘set them straight. This call is nerve-wracking because the vendor had helped me work with me when I desperately needed supplies.
Significant others involved in the complaint directly or indirectly
- My wife is all over me to spend more time with the kids. I cannot get my work done as it is. How can I spend more time at home when I have all this work to do!?
- My team is close to me. We have worked together for 10 years – they are like my family. I know this change in process is going to be good for the company & team. But they have gone through so much in the past 2 years that holding the information from them may be more helpful.
What would Resolution of Guilt – Skeleton Key – look like?
Resolution of Guilt: Our guilt & concern for what happened in the past may block progress to find a solution. The resolution of guilt Skeleton Key may be used to determine what will happen when this guilt is lessened or no longer exists. From this change in focus, new solutions may become evident.
When will guilt be resolved?
- Guilt is an obstacle that can seem insurmountable & from our discussions, I’ve seen you navigate some challenging obstacles. When this guilt is removed, what will take its place? When you see the next obvious step – what do you see yourself doing?
- Here is a small task for you to try. When you are with the person, do something different. This something different may be treating them as if they were your greatest supporter. You have already tried many things; trying one more idea may give us some more ideas of what works.
Alternate universe – Bizarre-o world
- I’m going to ask you a weird question. Pretend that as you walked through that door, you entered an alternate universe, but you are not aware that this is an alternate universe. The challenge you described does not exist in this universe. What will be different about your interaction when you see that person (or team or vendor, etc.)? Share more about that interaction?
- What from this alternate interaction will you apply to your work?