Turnabouts (15-15 way)

Share and share alike

The turnabout is a fairly general approach that creates peace, satisfaction, and results (meaning an NNI and a “my win”) in many circumstances that would otherwise stayed mired in conflict. Without this approach, we can end up unhappy, either with Next “winning” and Now tolerating or with Now “winning,” but with Next upset and blaming Now.


For example, one implementation of a turnabout refer to an agreement between Next and Now that they alternate with each other “taking over the driving,” using 15-minute intervals (each taking their turn). Let’s say that Next is in charge first (Next is the one in the driver’s seat). He or she gets to do what they want to do for 15-minutes (for example, getting some accounting work done). During this interval, Now can still be accepting and okay because Now knows that he or she gets to do what they want to do at the end of Next’s turn.


Now it’s Now’s turn. Now is in the driver’s seat (maybe Now has chosen to watch a movie or read a novel; it’s totally up to him or her). Next can be accepting (and not blame Now) because Next knows that Next gets to do (again) what he or she wants to do at the end of Now’s turn.


The interval of 15 minutes is just one option. It could be 10-10 or 20-20 or 30-30. It could even be 30-15 (with 30 minutes for Next and 15 minutes for Now) or 15-30 (the reverse). You may need to experiment to get the best interval agreement for a given circumstance. The important point is to REALLY listen to BOTH Next and Now to make sure that they EACH think they can be happy with the proposed interval agreement.


My personal/business assistant and good friend Heidi Yang (for over eight years now, as of 2018) has made good use of the 15-15 way. Heidi-Now has been very happy with her guilt-free play time on the Internet. Heidi-Next has been gratified with all the things she’s been getting accomplished (like steady progress in her Korean language class).

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