Value PieceThe second puzzle piece to building key relationships is having a clear Value Exchange. I imagine, you have heard the wisdom that we have to “give and take” in a relationship. It makes sense, of course. You give and take; and, the other person gives and takes. I think we are much better (but not perfect) in our personal relationships at:

  1. Clarifying what each person expects, at least stating a desired exchange.
  2. Gaining an agreement—even if the agreement is that you disagree.
  3. Delivering on the value expected.

It’s probably easier at home because we have more commitment and desire for a good exchange. There is more at stake if we fail; and, maybe more trust in the person. I am finding through working with this framework that most of us are far clearer about what value we are delivering. What we are not clear about is:

  1. What the other person wants and needs from us.
  2. What we want and need from that person.

I believe that comes from our on the tasks that we need to complete, when much of the value delivered and desired is far more individual.

What Value Do We Exchange?

The value delivered in work relationships can be a broad range of outcomes, including:

  1. Work product delivered as expected (e.g., quality, timing, cost, etc.).
  2. How we interact and work with each other.
  3. Information that we make available to each other (e.g., technical, political, process, etc.).
  4. Access to relationships and networks.
  5. Guidance and coaching.

And more, of course. What am I missing in this list—would love your input!

Are We Clear About The Desired Value?

As in all expectations, clarity of the desired end-state and how to get there is critical to successful delivery. What’s interesting to me is that we seem even less clear about what we want from someone else than we are about what we need to deliver. This is most true if the person is in a “senior” position to our role (which makes no sense given the importance of delivering). Take a look at the Assessment of Value for this relationship puzzle piece. Test it with a key client or colleague or boss with whom you need to get big things accomplished. I am really interested in how you find this tool valuable. Let me know with an email to Next week, we turn the Trust in a relationship. If you missed the post on understanding in relationships, you can see it Try A Lot Of Understanding Post.