WomenIN reading recommendation

radical alignment by Alexandra Jamieson & Bob Gower

Who wrote it

Wife and husband team Alexandra Jamieson and Bob Gower wrote this book, after using their All In Method to determine whether they wanted to write a book together. Alexandra is an author and leadership coach. Bob is an organizational design consultant with experience in lean, agile, and responsive design.

What it’s about

The tag line from the book is “How to have game-changing conversations that will transform your business and your life”. Such conversations are often complex, emotional, and lengthy, and can quickly veer off course. Through their coaching and organizational design work Alexandra and Bob created a method for framing such conversations to keep them on track.

Called the All-In-Method (AIM) of communication it is effective in both professional and personal conversations. The method delves into our:

  • intentions (our personal why, which is connected to our values),

  • concerns (things we fear might keep this experience from going well),

  • boundaries (our personal non-negotiables), and

  • dreams (our hopes and highest aspirations for the experience). (pg. 15)

To me these cover all of the emotions and expectations that go along with making a significant decision, but that are usually neither discussed nor acknowledged.

Alexandra and Bob set out the basics of good communication in an easy to understand and straight forward manner. They stress the importance of the roles we each need to play in these conversations, including that of The Listener. A significant part of the book describes the variety of situations in which AIM can be used, along with practical examples.

Why you should read it

radical alignment is a practical and effective communication tool to have at hand.

I wish I had known about it a lot earlier. There is an example of the hazards of planning a vacation with your spouse that really hit home for me. My partner and I have, over nearly 2 decades together, finally figured out how to plan a vacation that we both really enjoy, but I think the AIM method could have saved us some stress early on.

I found this process also helps improve conversations I have with myself. Using AIM makes me think about why I want to do something, what I’m worried about, what my limits are, and even lets me dream about the perfect outcome for a bit.

The most radical (and best) piece of advice in this book, if you’re not all in you should consider walking away.

by Ines Quandel

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