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Part IV: Paradoxical Principle #4 > See the Bigger Picture in Outcomes Windows

Chapter 34. See the Bigger Picture in Outcomes Windows

Paradoxical Principle #2 focused on asking what-else questions to brainstorm actions and outcomes. The outcomes window, as illustrated in the exercise that follows, helps you ask what-else questions about the desirability and probability of possible actions and outcomes. But the outcomes window model does not stop there. It asks you to identify positives and negatives for you and for others who may be affected by the option.

Claire Considers a New Career Opportunity

Claire was director of quality assurance for a major computer software company. A career opportunity that she dreamed of was about to come true, but it required relocation to a different part of the country. Claire felt pretty certain that she would accept the job but she wanted to be sure before saying yes to her boss.

First, she analyzed the pluses and minuses of the work. Then she took the time to fill in the outcomes window, a decision-making technique she had learned in a workshop. Claire listed the positive outcomes as career success and financial security (she would get a significant raise and bonus). When she listed the negative outcomes, she realized they were all personal—missing her family and friends, leaving the town she grew up in and loved, and having a hard time meeting new friends because she felt shy. This exercise reminded Claire of one of her most important values—having close personal relationships.

As Claire reflected on the possible outcomes for others, she thought of her husband, Harry. On the positive side, he would be closer to his best friend and he loved new adventures, which this move certainly would be. On the negative side, he might not find a new job.

The outcomes window exercise helped Claire to see that this decision involved more than career advancement. She intuitively knew this, but writing down all the possible outcomes for herself and her husband brought her decision making more into focus.



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