Frequently asked questions are typical inquiries about Life Journey Map® tool and its key features. Take time to go through them if you would like to gain better understanding of the method and its background.
1. Why 130 Values?
This number comes out of a long research on exploring and linking cognitive capacity with linguistic referencing to values. There is a limit of what one can hold in their brain but also what one can practice/use and in that sense experience as important i.e. meaningful. It is proven that people have limited cognitive capacity to organize their thinking. We can hold three types of variable in our head at the same time. After that we start chunking/sequencing. That’s how people build a hierarchy of variables. If you go into a single domain of competence you must be able to use 130 different words that describe different set of behaviors to be an expert in that field.
The linguistic analysis led us to a conclusion that these 130 values we use in the Life Journey Map are enough to cover the existing values system from West to East. Value system is an orientation towards a behavior. Life Journey Map is a linguistic tool, mapping the language we use with how we act in life. Since the language (words) represents a state of intentionality, it is an assumption that by choosing particular language we favor/prioritize certain values and consequently carry out a certain behavior.
* * *
2. Where do these particular 130 values come from?
They come from developmental models, psychological, biological, cultural, spiritual and business models. By analyzing the language used in these scopes of our life, we are able to pinpoint a ‘worldview’ – one’s orientation towards values.
Life Journey Map® draws on recognized developmental research from four different areas: a) 'language development' (Tomasello, 1999, 2003; Gopnick & Meltzoff, 1998) , b) 'perceptual development' (Eleanor Gibson, 1969, 1975, 1991, 2000) c) 'psychological development' (Erickson 1950, 1959, 1968, 1982; Kohlberg 1969; Gilligan 1972, Frankl, 1955, 1959) and d) 'spiritual development' (Huxley, 1944; Fowler, 1981; Hall, 1986).
* * *
3. How is Life Journey Map different in comparison to some other similar tools?
Our tool is not a personality test but an educational tool, helping people educate themselves about their values orientation which further gives clear clues about their behavior. The model is set up as an unbiased measuring tool, with multiple values which are constantly ranked and compared in relationship to each other interactively. During the ranking process the user rank-orders a randomly generated list of 130 values, presented in sets of four. Value ranking scores are the sum of two complete rankings. The method ensures high validity and reliability which is measured through immediate feedback loop.
* * *
4. Do new values appear over time in the tool?
Our experience over 15 years has shown that these 130 are a stable set of values. Because our values are so grounded in our physical life, we don’t think there will be a need to add more values until we change our physical structure.
* * *
5. Could new values appear in my personal map over time?
Every value has different developmental stages called ‘value path’ which means that values also grow - they become more complex. You don’t give up your core values but your competency within a value grows and matures. They develop into a more complex manifestation – that’s what development is. Each time you go through a developmental stage you re-define the meaning of your values.
Let’s use an example of a ‘value path’ for a value ‘Empathy’ which would include the following sequence i.e. developmental stages. Each of the values described here represents a growing complexity or a higher level of competency within the same value.
* * *
6. Does this tool distinguish private and professional values?
It shouldn’t. What this tool does is to indicate one’s affinity regardless of different societal roles. A person, who exemplifies a fully integrated values system, would not think of separating his/her values privately and professionally.
* * *
7. Is there an expectation that I would change my behavior after the report and coaching?
The goal of coaching is making you more aware of your values and the choices you can make. It will give you encouragement to get unstuck, to change, to move on and provide guidance towards potential directions – based on your values. The change is the recognition of “this is me and these are my values” and how to intentionally take care of your values so that the outcome is a more fulfilling life and career choices.
* * *
8. How concrete and detailed is the advice I will get from the coaching?
What we are working on is peoples’ guiding system and how they can use their values to guide them in their choices. Our method’s focus is on what guiding system a person can use in decision making and problem solving. Doing that, we focus on the career values. The power of the being aware of your career values is that you are identifying with something larger than only one particular organization. Coaching explains the link between your career values and possible choices, and supports you in creating your personal mission statement related to the career.
* * *
9. Does it make sense to repeat the ranking after a period of time?
Yes, especially if one has highly focused on one value, neglecting others. Also, if people have gone through a greater life change, e.g. loss or change of job, move, change of culture, change in personal relationships. While the ‘Field of meaning’ – core values, would not radically change, the prioritization would most likely do.
10. My department is conducting a group values mapping. Will my individual values be transparent in the group map?
When conducting a group values mapping, each participant signs a disclosure agreement which ensures that the individual scores are anonymous. What would be available in the group coaching is the ‘Field of meaning’ – core values of the group – but no names are indicated.
* * *
11. What if group values are not aligned or in a different developmental orientation? How do you resolve a values conflict?
Research in values has shown direct correlation between increased understanding and cooperation when there is increased value consensus and alignment among members of the same group and between members of different groups. (Rokeach,1979).
Even if there are gaps there are usually values in common. Thus, the challenge is to identify those values which indicate openness to differences, e.g. being considerate, having empathy, being open-minded. Based on that people can learn to practice these values and as a consequence mitigate their value gaps.
* * *
12. What if the desired values don’t exist in the group’s values?
Based on the group’s ‘Field of Meaning’ – core values, we would, in this case, identify at least one value from the desired culture that an organization can develop or identify a value from the existing culture and build on and strengthen it to a next level of competency. Raising awareness of the gaps is the first and most important step in this process.
13. How can we use Life Journey Map in organizations?
Life Journey Map encompasses important range of benefits for organizational use. It primarily helps to:
- Identify the overlap of a team’s values and use it to improve teamwork
- Craft the potential Customer Service orientation and identify potential for change
- Learn from crisis situations by discovering the group’s recovery process and improving of one such process.
- Create a values-based problem solving tool kit to be used by teams
Indirect Measurement involves a document analysis of:
- Executive speeches
- Marketing/Brand/Vision/Mission communications
- Performance Metrics
- Customer Evaluations
* * *
14. How can this tool help change a culture?
First of all, people have to be aware of their values otherwise they feel forced to take on someone else’s values. They need to be aware of their individual values and understand how they can support the desired change. Cultural change means reprioritizing the values to fit the client’s needs. Second priority would be value based teaming. Once we are aware of the team’s ‘Field of meaning’ – core values, we are able to identify which values in the team would help us solve problems more efficiently, in an innovative way, with a customer orientation…and so on. The next step is to make a decision which set of values the team wants to call on when they get stuck. Values orientation is a comprehensive method for leadership for it builds a much stronger foundation for more organizational flexibility and faster transformation.
* * *
15. Can Life Journey Map be useful in Customer Relationship Management?
Life Journey Map is an effective tool for getting more insights that contribute to the Customer Relationship development. Our method is bringing in, what Harvard Business School calls ‘relational intelligence’, which stands for understanding of different relationships that customers might have with the company, existing brands, potential new product and so on. Life Journey Map captures the data which is able to tell which types of relationships are corresponding to the customers’ values. In this sense, the tool has the potential to redefine Marketing function around value-based relationships which are naturally stronger and longer-lasting.
* * *
16. Why are values important for organizational development?
Organizational development means defining which business you want to be in and develop accordingly. The right values for your organization are based on the defined business model. To put it in a nutshell, values bring identity to an organization and heavily support the growth path because they are closely linked to the business model. Naturally, change of the business model requires a shift in values as well.