Decision Making Tips and Traps: Tom and Vera vs The Bird

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The Basics...

Learn the routine for making collaborative decisions through this light-hearted scene.

Watch our adventurers use their skills to make first contact with an alien race on the moon. Can you can identify all the win-win steps they use along the way?

Continue below for additional information, or feel free to simply watch the video and then mark the activity complete!

A Refresher

What is Shared Decision-Making?

Shared decision-making is a cooperative way of making plans together. With shard decision-making, input from both of you counts. So the plan of action you end up with pleases you both.

When is shared decision-making useful?

Any time that two people need a plan of action, shared decision-making is generally the best way to go.

Without these skills, one person may make plans without considering what the other person wants. This can create feelings of frustration, resentment or depression.

Without shared decision-making skills, making plans together can produce conflicts, arguments and fights.

By contrast, with these three steps of shared decision-making, situations that need shared a shared plan of action become positive moments of gratifying partnership.

The Steps

Initial Ideas

When a dilemma comes up, people usually each suggest ideas of what to do. If these initial ideas are different, the challenge begins.

Tensions will rise if each person insists that their plan of action is the best. The initial ideas may become fixed positions, inviting an argument over who will give up and who will win.

What will Tom and Vera do when the Mother Bird arrives home? Tom initially suggests taking an egg hostage. Vera suggests pretending to be baby birds.

Will they argue over whose way is better, or shift to identifying their underlying concerns?

Underlying Concerns

Concerns are thoughts and feelings. The why's that lead to action ideas. Switching from focusing on initial ideas for a plan of action to identifying the underlying concerns converts arguments into shared problem-solving.

To find concerns ask, "What is important to each of us in this situation?"

For shared problem-solving to succeed, both people need to take each others' concerns seriously. Your concerns immediately get added to my list, and mind to yours.

Bad news. Tom and Vera don't shift to identifying their underlying concerns. They don't take each other's concerns seriously They just argue about which of their original ideas is better, fighting each other instead of uniting against Mother Bird.

Satisfying Solutions

A solution is an action plan.

A satisfying solution may be based on one of the initial ideas, or a new idea altogether.

A solution will feel fully satisfying, fully win-win, if the plan includes actions responsive to all the items on the "Our" list of underlying concerns.

Oh no! While Tom and Vera bicker about whose initial idea is right, Mother Bird has a Solution of her own. It's not a happy ending!

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