It's my orange; mine, mine! (9 March 2016)

My work recently took me to Bangladesh, to do a workshop on organisational change (for 100 people..... agh!) and coach some members of the management team of the INGO - international non-government organisation, for the uninitiated - client. Good to be back in the midst of the seeming chaos and spontaneity of Dhaka; and to be reminded of the poverty. I was struck, once again, about how welcoming and fun Bangladeshis are, despite all the challenges they face.

One of the exercises most enjoyed by people was the Orange Conflict and how to resolve it. The scenario: one orange, two people want it - how to resolve? And, most importantly, what are the implications and repercussions of whatever resolution is found?

At first sight, the simplest solution is one or the other person takes the orange, by force, agreement or another strategy. Trouble is, it's win-lose: one person gets the orange, another gets nothing. If force prevailed, what happens next time? And if they agreed that, the next time, the loser gets the orange, what if there is no next time, or circumstances change? Sharing the orange, perhaps by cutting it in half, means both get something; but maybe each person needs a whole orange for the task they face? It looks like win-win, but looks can deceive.

This is a familiar situation for all of us, and a simple negotiation to share may not satisfy anyone. The answer could be TRANSCENDENCE - blue sky thinking, outside the box, however you describe it. The Bangladeshis in the workshop got there: how about planting the orange seeds to grow more fruit and start a business; or squeeze the orange, and make juice to share with many?

So the next time you have a real confrontation with someone, and you cannot agree on the way forward, try to think transcendentelly - you might just change the world!

all the best

Graham - email: - tel: + (44) (0) 7890 360 806 - skype: tigercoaching1