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How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams by Charles J. Pellerin

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CHAPTER 13
Mine the Gold in Your Shared Interests
 
 
 
Can you recall how we tend toward homophily? We prefer to be in relationship with people who share our story-lines. “Shared Interests” is the same phenomenon (Figure 13.1). We are most comfortable with people who want for us, the things that we want for ourselves. These common interests are always present.Human’s tendency to focus on differences rather than what we can want for each other causes much of the conflict in the world. This 4-D work is about habituating you to bring your attention to the shared interest inquiry: What do they want that I can want for them also?
FIGURE 13.1 Shared Interests, the Second of the Eight Behaviors
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Some years ago, a NASA executive called me, “Charlie, this center director and I just can’t get along. Can you help?” We went offsite with an abbreviated 4-D workshop. On the second morning, we paired the people into two groups: his staff and the center people. Each group addressed the inquiry “What do they most want that we can want for them also?”
The center people reported first: “We want for you to be totally successful.” My client responded, “Really, why would you want that?” “Because,” they answered, “If you aren’t successful, then we won’t be successful either. We are totally dependent on your success for the funding we need to survive.”
Later my client said, “You have an interest that I do ...

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