The “MYO Tool” for Increasing Collaboration

posted in: Collaboration, Life Skills | 0

People on teams can have problems working together. The consequences can be anger, frustration, and dysfunction (e.g., trouble getting things done). The MYO tool gives you a method so that you can lessen problems.

Collaboration issues are rooted in how the brain works. (a) The brain is hardwired to cause an individual to think that they are right. (b) The brain goes into defensive reasoning mode when a person feels threatened (c)  The brain resists being forced (i.e., coercion). Here is how the problem arises.

  • Person A is sure that their idea is right
  • Person B is sure that their idea is right
  • The ideas of the two people are different in a way that causes conflict
  • One of the people feel threat and so they attack the other person’s idea (i.e., defensive reasoning)
  • The attacked person feels like they are being coerced, so they push back
  • Collaboration is thwarted

The MYO Tool provides a way to keep these 3 brain issues from thwarting collaboration.

Benefits of the MYO Tool

  • Get much more done (more productivity)
  • Increase the quality of your results (a lot)
  • Drive down anxiety, frustration, anger (to nearly zero)
  • Much less talk, much more doing (talk does not cook rice …)
  • Highlight the individual (make each person feel special and unique; amplify self-confidence).
  • Drive up innovation
  • Learn more (i.e., learn from everyone)
  • Be open to new ideas, especially when the ideas are very different from your own ideas.

The Method

The MYO Tool is shown below. For simplicity, I’m presenting the tool for two people. The tool involves three steps:

  • Step 1. You express your idea. I listen using skills of active listening.
  • Step 2. I express my ideas. You listen using skills of active listening.
  • Step 3. We strive to find the best ideas in way that both of us really like. If we cannot come to a deal this OK. Our motto is “Win-Win or no deal.”



Tips and Connections

  • The Big Picture. Use the tool to come to a deal that both people really like. This is not about compromise (i.e., giving up); it is about building high level collaboration.
  • Learning. When you first start using this tool, it might feel awkward or too formal or whatever. Everyone has similar experiences, so hang in there. It is really useful to find a mentor.
  • The more you apply this tool the easier it is to use. After a lot of practice, you might be able to make win-win deals in 30 to 60 seconds.
  • This tool was built using ideas from the literature such as (a) the skills of active listening and (b) Steven Covey’s “Win-Win or No Deal” habit.


Please post your comments below. We (i.e., the L4Do Development Team) would especially like your insights on

  • What are best ideas of this methods? What works the best? Why?
  • How can this method be improved? What are your best recommendations?
  • Regarding learning of this method? What are your best tips for the learner?
  • What stories do you have about active listening? About win-win-no-deal? About collaboration.


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