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How Values Affect Conflict > Identifying Your Peer’s Values

Identifying Your Peer’s Values

Values are often difficult to recognize in your peers because these values are so personal and ingrained that your peers may not talk about them. Using the same card sort method you used for yourself, try to indicate how deeply one of your peers holds these values. Base your rankings on how you see them acting on their values. Choose a colleague with whom you have a significant working relationship but not necessarily one with whom you have a conflict. You might notice pretty quickly that you don’t know how to sort all of the values – probably because you haven’t discussed them with your peer and because there is sometimes a difference between espoused values and those that are acted on. But if you think about your peer’s behavior at work or off the job, or think about the kinds of statements they have made, you can make a good guess as to how to rank their personal values. It’s not important that your choices be exactly right, because when you review your responses you will be comparing your values with your perception of your peer’s values. If this activity were run the other way, with your peer ranking how important each value is to you, they would likely rank them differently from you.

After you have ranked the values of your colleague, compare these responses to those you recorded for yourself. Where are the biggest differences? Are significant differences related to any conflicts you have had with this peer? If you had been aware of these differences could you have handled that conflict better? Take a few minutes to reflect on that last question. Try writing out some sentences you could have used during that conflict situation. Your reflections can’t help you with a past conflict, but they can help you prepare for those in the future. Many highly successful leaders and high-performance teams use similar techniques to improve their handling of unanticipated events in the future.


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