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Shared Interests and Outcome Nouns


Whether you’re communicating with one other person or a group, the following two principles will make results come easier and bring along the other stakeholders in the process.

Shared interests

The concept of shared interests stems from negotiation theory. It involves finding out what the other person needs and communicating what you need, which can help the two of you craft a creative solution.

Innovation comes out of shared interest. Many complex problems cannot be solved alone so you need to make the most effective connection you can with the other person; dig deeper to find out what they need and don’t be afraid to talk about what you need. From there you can build a collaborative solution.

Being outcome committed

When problem solving with a group or another person, leaders who are outcome committed have a very clear focus of where they’re going and they do a good job communicating that to everyone on their team. They state the end result, i.e., this is why we are doing things. This is why we are in business. This is the driving force for the project.

One way to apply this is in meetings. What is the desired outcome of the meeting? Hint: An outcome is always a noun, not a verb. If you or the team are coming up with outcomes such as, “We will discuss x, y and z,” or, “We will brainstorm as a group,” dig deeper. What is the end result you’re hoping for after those actions are completed?

Good examples of outcomes that are nouns are: The outcome will be a solution, we will have a decision, the result will be a plan, we will have developed a new process. There’s nothing wrong with brainstorming and discussing but you need to work towards an outcome, which is a noun. Once you have identified a meaningful outcome for the meeting, make it part of the meeting’s agenda and communicate that to the group. Good luck!

Here is a brief video of me discussing this concept:


Have you been focusing more on verbs than nouns when planning your meetings? What are some nouns you can identify as the true outcomes you’re looking to achieve?

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