Knock Their Socks Off
POSITION 3: This is about stepping out from an internal perspective and observing the interaction of both parties from the outside. This position is sometimes described as objective. James Ury in his book “Beyond Yes or No” describes it as “the balcony.” This detached position lets you weigh up both points of view and maybe decide which has the stronger merit. Unfortunately, such detachment also can mean being unable to decide either way or seeming detached.
None of the positions is inherently better than the others. But it’s important to know that individuals tend to have a preference for dealing with situations in one of the three positions: Some people frame everything in terms of their own point of view; some constantly talk about how others perceive them; and some talk about their experience as though it was a movie they were watching.
Putting positions into practice
Really successful fundraisers need to be flexible and to use all three positions — if necessary even in a single interaction. The simple workplace-based example below illustrates this.
Some time ago I had a colleague, Yuen. She started being late for work, gradually extending to five mornings in a row. I needed Yuen to change her behavior.
I took her into my office, sat her down and asked, “Yuen, don’t you feel bad about coming into work late every day?” I expected her be embarrassed and hoped she would be contrite. Instead she was apparently merely puzzled and said, “No.”
Clearly, approaching the challenge through Position 1 wasn’t going to have the desired effect. So I changed tack: “Yuen, how do you think I feel when I get into work early with a full schedule, and then make excuses for you being late?”
Again I’d hoped for some awareness of my feelings. But again there was genuine puzzlement. Yuen didn’t do Position 2 either.