Last Wednesday I introduced the tool “Values and Development Square.” Today I want to show you in more detail how to use it.
To use the square for understanding such conflicts, you write a positive value and its exaggeration for one person into the left column and likewise for a second person value and exaggeration into the right column.
For example, somebody may accuse you to be an opportunist, while you think you are just a great diplomat. So you know you need to put the value “Diplomacy” in the top row and the exaggeration “Opportunism” in the bottom row. In our example, that is the right side of the square. Now you fill out the complete square, as described in Part 1. You can do this either together with the other person or you do it alone.
If you do it together, you can discuss your findings. The square helps you to understand each other better. You can discover patterns of behavior with which you annoy each other. Based on this dialogue you can agree on changes of behavior, and hopefully the deepened perception of each helps.
When you work alone with the square, it is basically the same as working on a weakness of your own. In that case you should not make too many assumptions about other people but only look for weaknesses of your own that you may discover in this process.
If you come up with the same square because you started with the personal weakness “Opportunism,” the square helps you to understand how other people may see you, how you can attenuate the positive aspects of it and how to find positive behavior that may reduce the (potentially wrong) perception others have of you.
I want to look at a new example. Maybe you want to create the detailed square for the example as an exercise. Let’s assume you are not sure if you should quit your current job and found your own business. (Sorry for the example, I know it is very stereotypical.)
You come up with “Freedom” and “Risk” on the one side of the square, standing for founding an own business. On the other side of the square you have “Secure Job” and “Stagnancy.” By filling out the detailed lists you have a good starting point for your decision. In my mind, this is also a more structured way to make decisions than with a simple “benefits and concerns” list.
Which other uses for this square come to your mind? Just leave a reply…