The Importance of Outcomes

By Steve Zuieback · Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Importance of Outcomes

This topic was my recent focus for my January 2013 E-Newsletter. I want to make it available to anyone intereted in this crtiical area of focus.

As Curly says in City Slickers, "there is only one thing you need to know in life." In our case the one thing for a leader, coach or facilitator is that you need to know your outcomes - both Rational and Experiential.

Rational outcomes are the tangible and measurable things like decisions, action plans, directions forward, agreements and next steps.

Experiential outcomes are more intangible but no less critical. They relate to the kinds of experiences and dynamics that need to be created for a team to be more effective and functional in achieving their rational outcomes.

When desiging process it is imperative that the facilitative leader designs for both the rational and experiential outcomes. This is another way of saying that you simultaneously work on the "above and below green line" at the same time. Designing for the experiential outcome is often best accomplished by picking the right process at the right time. The Facilitation Skills for Chaotic Times Process Flash Cards are designed to do just that. The Flash Cards are now available as an E-Book as well. 


Questions to Clarify Outcomes

People often ask me, "What questions can I ask to help clarify outcomes with a team or client?" Here are some tried and true options:

1. What do you want to accomplish?

2. What do you really want in the situation?

3. When people are talking in the parking lot at the end of the meeting, what would you hope they would say about the meeting?

4. If you could only accomplish one or two things at the meeting, what would be the most important outcomes to achieve, and why?

5. How will you know you have achieved your outcome? What will you see, hear, feel or experience to know that you have been successful?

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