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The 3×3 Approach to Win-Win Conversations

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Then ask: Why is this important to me?

Boss- I am always getting good reviews and have been doing the functions of the position for 2 years. I should have been promoted by now.

Son- School is important for academic and social well-being. If he is struggling, I’m worried he is not happy or might be in trouble.

 During the Conversation:

Now that you have prepared what YOU want out of the conversation, you also need to prepare how you will ask the questions. Know that what you hear from the other person can change the trajectory of the outcome. The key here is to ask them those same two questions but really LISTEN to their perspective. You often need to ask more than one question, here are some examples.

First, you want to determine: What is their perspective of the topic you are addressing?

Boss- What am I doing well? What do I need to do more of? What is keeping me from getting this promotion?

Son- What is happening at school? What are you struggling with?

(*Notice these are all open-ended questions to get them to talk about it.)

Second, you want to identify: Why are they feeling that way?

Boss- What examples can you give me? What would I be doing different at that level of performance?

Son- What are you feeling before (during, after) school? What would be an ideal school day for you?

Ending and Following-Up:

This is where we take both perspectives and create an outcome that is mutually beneficial. Let them share what they think will work first and build on that.

You ask: How can we achieve the desired outcome (promotion, liking school better)?

Boss- What are specific actions I can work on? What would be the desired outcome?

Son- What would make you like school better? What is an area you can change that you have control over?

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