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 are 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.
“Importantly, solutions do not depend entirely on either the creativity of the [manager or coach] and/or the [team] or of the client. The source of creativity ‘lies’ in the cooperative relationship between the two subsystems. The creativity is a ‘bonus’ of their poly-ocular view or the various descriptions of the problematic situation.” – Steve de Shazer
Skeleton Key – Minimal Change
What does the workplace complaint look like?
- Examples in earlier article … Why do I have to tell them what I expect … they should just know. AND We have vowed that we will never argue again.
- When I began this project my manager & team told me that it would be challenging & that the team has gone through too many re-orgs, management changes, & trainings. In my mind I knew that I would be the one to save this team & that I would be noticed for the hero that turned around this broken team.
What would the Minimal Change – Skeleton Key – look like?
Minimal Change: Working together to create, notice, identify, assist in making the slightest change in the persons actions & perception. Once minimal change happens it may be the crack in the wall to create more change.
Do one thing different …
- It’s obvious that you care a great deal about the work & are the right person. There is something that I would like you to try, someone like you will find this easy but if it is too easy you should make it more challenging. You have a pattern for how you generally meet & work with this person (or team or vendor or manager, etc…) choose 1 thing that you normally do and make it different, do not let the other person(s) be aware of what you doing different. It can be at the beginning, middle, end, anytime. Before or during the meeting do something that you would not ordinarily do. Pay attention to the other person(s) reaction. Pay attention to how you are a part of that change.
- While you are sharing I think about plants & how they will grow towards the sun or light source. That is called phototropism. Whichever way you turn the plant it will bend & reach towards the sun. I see you similarly. Wherever you go you grow towards your goals, it does not matter which way your turn or where you are,. there you are reaching & bending. Before our next meeting there is something that you may try, someone who is as phototropic as you may find this simple. If you want to make it tougher feel free. Choose a physical location that you are very familiar with & you have control over, your desk or conference room for example. Choose 2 items in this location, that you have control over, switch their spots. Move the items to the others location. Pay special attention to what difference this minimal change makes to the person(s) you interact with and you.