The Best Auto Repair Shop Owners Brainstorm with their Teams

180biz communication jot leadership video blog May 24, 2021

Communicating Effectively Step 3 - Brainstorm by Rick White, President 180BIZ

 We've been talking about having effective conversations with our team, with our family, whoever it might be. I told you that there were four parts to it. The first part was to understand and appreciate their perspective. It's to let them be seen and heard and appreciated before you get started. Then the second part of it was to identify together. It’s to identify what they think might be causing this situation. Now the third part is to brainstorm. This is where you ask a very simple question. What do you think we can do about it? You know, what are our options? When you do this together, it's collaborative. This saves you from going out to them and dictating what needs to be done. Instead, what you're going to do is come together either as a pair or as a group or as a team.

This approach will create a collaboration of ideas. It’s kind of a head fake.  That’s when you think you're doing one thing, but I really got you to do another. Through this four-step process I have you disassociating from the situation. Remember when I first talked to you, you were coming to a problem from your perspective.  You are fully associated at that point looking at things through your own eyes with your feelings and having your reactions. But when you step back and understand and appreciate their perspective, you're going into what I call the first position. You are seeing things through their eyes, which is the second position.

But then when begin to ask what do you think might cause the situation? Now, you're going into the third person, which is fully disassociated from both positions. And it's almost like sitting high up in the stands, looking down at the game. You get a much clearer picture of what's going on. You get a clearer picture of the different dynamics going on, and you can see a lot more options. When you get everyone to step back a little bit and disassociate from my perspective, from their perspective, whatever the case may be, and you get them to kind of go up into the spectator stands and look down. It's amazing how much clear things can get.

Sometimes when we're feeling overwhelmed, I ask my clients to do something that's really simple. Stop and then breathe.  I want you to imagine yourself in a corn maze and you can't see your way out. You're really frustrated. You keep going around in circles. Then imagine yourself getting into a helicopter and that helicopters going up about a hundred feet. And then you can look down and all of a sudden what was so frustrating becomes so simple to see.  You can clearly see the way out.  By stepping back into that disassociated state, by going into the spectator stand and seeing everything that's going on will make a huge difference. Why do you think players have coaches? The coach can give a different perspective. Why do you think coaches watch videos? It's because they recognize they're only seeing a little part of it. They need to see the whole thing. The video does that for them. That's what I'm asking you to do in your communication with your team, with your family, with anyone is to step back, understand, appreciate their world through their eyes. Then together, identify what some of the causes are. Some good, some not so good, whatever the case is.

Then third step is to brainstorm. What can we do about it? d sometimes you'll need to bring some other people in. Maybe you bring other people from the team in, and you get that opportunity to have that that mastermind. Whenever you have more than one head thinking about the same thing, you get exponentially, better ideas.  When Brenda and I sit down and work on something together, it's amazing. The stuff we come up with is truly amazing. Sometimes we must get out of our own way. Sometimes we need to stop thinking.  Sometimes we need to leave the ego at the door and recognize that we're building something. We're creating. And we can't do that in a vacuum. We can't do it by ourselves. We need other people. Get them involved, make them part of the process. Invite them to collaborate. And it allows you to talk about things that you would not be able to talk about. They wouldn’t be open to collaboration if you just told them to “fix it.”  That doesn't work. But when you can come back and say, “Hey, I need your help.”

So, three of the four steps to effective communication are (1) Understand and Appreciate their world. (2) Identify solutions that are either causing this desired outcome or creating a problem.  (3) And now it's time to brainstorm. That’s our three steps so far. Next week I’ll finish up with the fourth and final step in Effective Communication.

Stay safe, have fun, and go make some money.