Extensions for Value Exchange Ledger Activity
Here we outline additional contexts and actions for exploring Value Exchange and extending this to Value Creation.
A. As an Individual
CRITICAL MINDSET: The VX Ledger activity is your personal perspective of value you consciously seek to contribute, claim or create. In the first instance, it is very important that you do not censor this perspective in terms of what you think others want you to contribute, claim or create. Be sure to keep this front of mind as you do the activity.
For specific instances when value exchange exploration might be most useful, see the handy Poster of Decision Moments.
1. Familiarise yourself with the Value Exchange Concept (and be sure to understand value as something different to values).
2. Identify what Key Decision Moment is your context.
3. Choose one or both Employee perspectives for your ledger: Current reality or Desired future reality. (If you do both, you can compare the difference.)
4. Choose a time period for your Desired ledger. We recommend a 3 month time period.
To set your mindset before starting the activity, we recommend this little ritual:
Say “I have value to contribute” while holding the blue cards.
Say “I have value I seek” while holding the orange cards.
Say “I explore what is valuable to me in this moment of <decision moment from poster>” while pointing to spot on poster.
6. As you select value elements and organise your VX Ledger, here are some things to keep in mind:
- If you are wondering what any particular value element means – know that there isn’t a fixed definition. Ask yourself: What does this mean to me? If you can’t find any meaning, then you aren’t making a connection to it, so skip it and move on.
- For IN valuements for a Desirable perspective, focus on value you wish to consciously contribution. You may have all the value elements as value available to be contributed, but you are choosing a set to actively consciously contribute within the named context.
- Some value elements, like IN elements of TIME or ENERGY may be in consideration simply because there is a new expectation to be set and managed about the type or quantity of contribution. For example, your agreed work contract is for 37.5 hours a week but you have been working 45 hours a week, and you want to consciously reset your contribution to the baseline of 37.5 hours a week. Or another example—which isn’t contractually obligated—you may have been showing up with 90% of your energy, however you are about to start a house-renovation project with your family, and want to reset your energy contribution at work to a lower level for next time-period.
- In having more than 7 cards on either side of the ledger, there is a danger that focus will be diluted when enacting the ledger. It could be that the workscape context you set for this ledger is too broad and attempting to capture multiple contexts – consider making more than one ledger each with a narrower focus.
7. With a VX Ledger populated, set appointments with yourself:
- At one and two months, a brief 15 min check-in to see how aligned your workscape choices are to the Desired ledger, and course correct as necessary.
- In three months, a 60 min review to evaluate value contributed, claimed and created and determine what changes are worthy to make to your ledger.
It’s okay to stop here. Or you might continue …
7. Options for next steps
I. Look at your completed VX Ledger and translate the IN and OUT column value elements into something specific and tangible. Define some actions on how you might contribute, claim or create that value in your workscape by yourself, and with others. Be sure to assign appropriate measures or forms of evidence so you know ‘how much’ will be sufficient to your needs or desires. Put your plan of action somewhere safe. Set an appointment with your self to check-in periodically (2-3 months) to see that your choices and actions are aligned to this plan. When necessary, adapt your plan.*
II. With your own completed VX Ledger (Desired), share with colleagues/collaborators to explain and explore value propositions from different perspectives. Invite colleagues/collaborators to create VX Ledgers for themselves. Use this knowledge to enrich your working relationships.
III. With your own completed VX Ledgers (Current and/or Desired), compare your ledgers with an Employer Perspective and see what they have in common and where they differ. It’s your choice about if their needs to be strong alignment; and how much alignment or fit you need.
To discover the Employer Perspective:
- Ask your Team Lead/Manager to use the cards and define the Employer Perspective (NOT their personal Employee Perspective) of a) the Value IN they would find valuable to receive from employees, and b) the Value OUT they have in their power to help claim or create with employees.
- Take an Empathetic Perspective (see below) and discern it yourself
* Full guidance plus a template for making a Value Creation Plan is a premium activity in the Self unLimited collection. You can access this on-demand by enrolling in the short Creating a Valuable Workscape eLearning course.
B. As a Coach or Guidance Counsellor
Self unLimited provides coaching sessions for individuals who want a personal guide in undertaking the Value Exchange Ledger activity for the first time; or they can do the short Creating a Valuable Workscape eLearning course (which also includes the Value Creation Planning activity). You may wish to recommend someone to take up one of these opportunities and then discuss it with you afterwards.
There is also training to facilitate-coach the Value Exchange Ledger activity [Apr 2023: LINK TO COME]. This is a 60 minute session after you’ve had your own personal coaching experience; and comes with a comprehensive guide to lead individuals through the activity.
C. As a Team Lead/Manager
In addition to the information above under B.
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D. Discern for others with Empathetic Perspective
Sometimes you won’t have the opportunity to find out what is value/valuable for another person directly. So you’ll need to take an empathetic perspective – that is to listen to what they say, see what they do, and ‘put yourself in their shoes’ to see the world from their perspective.
We know it rationally, but it’s easy to forget: Others don’t see the world as we do, and don’t want the same things we do.
You’ve probably heard of the Golden Rule: Do until others as you would have them do unto you. To take an empathetic perspective, this rule is better: Don’t do until others as you would have them do until you; their tastes are not the same. (George Bernard Shaw)
It takes practice, to listen actively to what another person talks about, to observe what they do, and discern what are their desired value elements. ‘Discern’ is the deliberate verb of choice, because people rarely talk explicitly in terms of value.
Here’s a story to illustrate:
A new project team had started on a project that was already underway. They were responsible for a portion of the overall delivery of the project. They were working with a Project Manager that they didn’t know very well. The Project Manager had been asking for a number of weeks for a Plan of what the team was going to do. The new team were frustrated, as they didn’t have enough information to form a plan as they were still understanding the project and getting the lay of the land. The Project Manager was getting frustrated that his requests for a Plan seemed to be ignored.
I was Mentoring the project team. I ask them what they thought was of value to the Project Manager – to take an empathetic perspective. They struggled to think about it.
So I reframed the question: If PROJECT PLAN was the Answer, what was the Question (from the perspective of the Project Manager)? [This is the Reverse Q&A technique – very simple and very powerful.] They replied: How to know what was being planned?
I asked the team: What might that be in terms of value for the Project Manager? They came up with various answers, but together we landed on these aspects of value: ORDER, CONTROL, TRUST. I asked the team: How can you deliver Order, Control and Trust without a Project Plan? They put their creative minds in gear and came up with a solution.
This conversation about value – and not getting caught up in the specifics of “The Plan” – cleared a blockage which reduced stress and made everyone happy because they could get what they wanted.
Practice listening for value in conversations with colleagues, with peers, with customers, with family and friends. It will make you a better practitioner and take you to higher levels of providing service. When you can provide the value that another person seeks, then you are truly valuable to them.