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  • Writer's pictureThe Editor

Put yourself in the shoes of an expert

No shoe shopping required.

This post was inspired by the book ‘Getting to Yes’ by Roger Fisher. It's a book about negotiating, and how to come to agreements ‘without giving in’.

The book is full of amazing insights and revelations: separating people from the problem; focusing on their interests, not their positions on things; inventing options for mutual gain; insisting on the use of objective criteria.

Read it. Hopefully, I haven't spoiled the ending.

But that’s not what struck the biggest chord with me. Buried in the book is a brilliant thought behind this Faster Ideas tool:

Put yourself in the shoes of an expert.

It reminds me of the 70s kids show Mr Benn where, for reasons unexplained, a man in a suit and bowler hat called Mr Benn turns up to a magical fancy dress shop every lunchtime and ("as if by magic") is greeted by the fez-wearing "shopkeeper". Each time he suggests Mr Benn try on a costume - usually of someone in another profession - then Mr Benn mysteriously disappears into another world to have an adventure doing that kind of work.

But I really like this as a concept. Whatever you're trying to solve or create, imagine how an educator might solve it Or a finance officer. Or a legal eagle. Or footballer, scientist, art therapist, chef.

Think about the kind of people your project, initiative, article or video might reach.

Are you thinking about it in the same way they would?

A scientist might be more analytical - set a hypothesis, then find ways to prove it. A finance person looks at the fiscal impact of the idea, both personally and within the wider economy. A sportsperson would consider how they could improve performance gradually, with marginal gains over time (and how much training or practice they might need to do that). An art therapist would get you to draw your idea or problem, then talk about what you've drawn, and how you feel about each element of it.

So try being Mr Benn for a little while.

No suit, or never-explained customer-shopkeeper relationship required.

Disclosure: Faster Ideas is an independent site that uses affiliate links in our content. We are part of the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which allows websites to earn advertising revenue by linking to Amazon listings.


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