5 PRACTICAL WAYS TO USE THE VALUES CARDS

May 30, 2022 | Coaching, Facilitation, Leadership

How this leadership tool equips Coaches, Consultants, and Trainers to bring behavioural transformation to their clients.

Too much of what passes for leadership development is based on models, concepts and theories. If everyone is doing this, then what’s going to make working with YOU a breath of fresh air?

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The problem with many leadership programmes

There is so much written on the subject of leadership development. Our bookshelves are groaning under the weight of hefty tomes. So why isn’t the subject of leadership more rampant?

Could the answer be that most leadership development is about ‘knowing’ than ‘doing’?

Allow me to highlight the contrast between the two.

Scenario 1: I read every textbook going on heart surgery. I know all the medical terms and all the medical procedures – I’ve read every case study going. This is ‘knowing’. Chances are, you’d be uncomfortable allowing me to be your heart surgeon!

Scenario 2: I have years of practice in heart surgery. I have strong Mentors and Coaches. I see heart surgery as a craft and my life’s work, and each day I strive to be better today than yesterday. This is ‘doing’.   

If you want to be a leadership development practitioner worth their salt, then place your bets on creating experiences based on ‘doing’ over ‘knowing’. Let’s explore this further.      

5 ACTIVITIES TO INSPIRE AND TRANSFORM LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT WITH THE VALUES CARDS

ACTIVITY 1: TRUST AND TEAM BUILDING

The problem: too many teams are a ‘working group’ who only come together to report and provide updates – the only thing they have in common is a shared boss. They often expend more energy ‘competing’ with each other rather than collaborating as a team.

The solution:

  • Work through the differences between a working group, a team and a high performing team
  • Ideally where would we want to be in 12 months, why and how would we benefit?
  • If our direct reports were in the room right now, what would they be demanding from us?
  • Behaviourally how would we be operating – which differs from how we do things at the moment
  • How well do we understand the motivators and drivers of each team member? (Values cards)

Summary: These conversations begin to get the team on the same page. The questions encourage team members to be open with each other. Paired work and small group work allows every voice to be heard. Using the Values cards, team members better understand the needs, motivators, and drivers of each colleague.

ACTIVITY 2: APPRECIATING TEAM DIVERSITY

The problem

Diversity of thinking can be in short supply in leadership teams and project teams. Quite simply, it can often be seen as easier and more convenient to go with the majority view. Standing out and offering an alternative point of view takes courage – especially when there is some momentum behind a decision or call to action. 

The solution:

  • How effective are we as a team in our decision-making and inclusive behaviour?
  • What examples can we share of great decision-making and poor decision-making?
  • What were the conditions enabling great decision-making?
  • What were the conditions resulting in poor decision-making? 
  • What motivates each one of us to be a fully-paid up member of this team? (Values cards)
  • How do we allow each other to give full expression to these drivers – to help us make better decisions and give each other licence to be ourselves?

Summary: these conversations directly and indirectly solve two challenges. They help inform a team charter – how we want to work and how we want to be. Second, it creates the awareness and understanding for team members to express themselves – in pursuit of better outcomes and decision making. 

ACTIVITY 3: TURNING A DYSFUNCTIONAL TEAM INTO A COMPETENT TEAM

The problem

A dysfunctional team ends-up this way as a result of months of bad habits, poor practice and team members taking their goodwill home. Untangling all of the issues can take time, unless there is a basic level of trust, transparency and understanding amongst the team. This is what the Values Cards help facilitate.

The solution

  • On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is low and 10 is high, how effective are we as a team. Each colleague makes their judgement and writes it down – anonymously. The leadership facilitator puts the scores on the door.
  • How have each of us contributed to this overall score? How are you contributing when you’re at your worst? How are you contributing when you’re at your best?
  • What does this team need to know about you – to get the best from you? (Values cards)
  • What does this team need to know about you – to diminish your energy and contribution to this team? (Values cards)
  • What do we all deeply care about?
  • How can we harness this, so we can start pulling together vs pushing apart?  

Summary:

These conversations create a safe place to talk about some difficult topics. By placing the emphasis on the contribution of each team member, it gets away from blame and finger-pointing. 

The Values Cards get to the heart of personal motivation. We know money is not a strong motivator. So by designing a business around the human needs to feel valued, feel included and feel a sense of belonging – high engagement and high performance are achievable.  

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ACTIVITY 4: WHY SHOULD ANYONE BE LED BY YOU?

The problem

People often get into leadership positions as a result of many factors: being in the right place at the right time, their ‘type A’ driven personality, their technical prowess, their willingness to sacrifice their personal relationships in pursuit of financial success or status. Yet, these factors are rarely enough to make them effective in leadership. Under-pressure, they can default to over-playing the strengths that got them where they are in their career…creating a ‘doom loop’. 

The solution

  • If leadership is not about status, power, or wealth…then what is it about? What’s your story of why you choose to be a leader?
  • How consistent is your story in your daily word and actions?
  • If your team were here right now, what would they see as your signature leadership strengths?
  • Why would they choose you to be their leader?
  • Bring each element to life in the form of ‘before’ and ‘after’ character.
  • Work through the Values Cards: what are your ‘critical’ motivators? 
  • How would your team evidence these motivators through your words and actions?

Summary:

The Values Cards bring sharpness and clarity to the big question: ‘what gives work meaning’ and how does this reflect in your leadership signature. The Values Cards bring real clarity and practicality to an existential question.  

ACTIVITY 5: HOW TO DRIVE A HIGH ENGAGEMENT WORKPLACE

The problem

Too many leadership teams spend too long measuring engagement and not enough time practicing high engagement policies and behaviours. 

The solution

What do our most recent surveys tell us about levels of engagement in the business? What’s working and what isn’t?

If we chose not to measure engagement – how would we experience it and see it? List the 10 most important signals of high engagement.

For each one of those statements bring this to life – what does ‘great engagement’ look, sound and feel like?

Other than money, what motivates employees to shine, to give of their best and make a difference? (Values cards)

On a personal level, what engages and energises you at work? (Values cards)

How will you use these same cards to understand the internal drivers and motivators of each team member?

What rituals, processes, and practices will encourage high engagement in the following: the way we run meetings. The way we set goals. The way we run one-to-ones. The way we hire and recruit people. The way we coach and develop people.

Summary: high engagement can start with each employee taking ownership of their own motivation at work. Then supported by their line manager showing them they care – through their words and actions. Reinforced by working routines being re-designed so they shift from being ‘process-led’ to being ‘human-friendly’.

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