“Mutual Purpose” is a phrase that I have taken to love as it is a solution to many things that is often missed in our workaday world. Mutual purpose as defined in the book “Crucial Conversations” (by the writing team of Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler) “means that others perceive that we are working towards a common outcome … and that we care about their goals, interests and values. And vice versa. We believe they care about ours.”
Mutual purpose is an element that distinguishes teams from collections of people. It is critical to negotiating, having an important conversation and getting the best out of teams. So next time you are part of group tasked with an assignment – ask the group to pause for a moment and consider the mutual purpose of the effort. When we can see all see the bigger picture purpose we can expand our contribution to offer a much greater value than simply providing our services as specified in a contract.
Ann Banning - Wright