Getting to Know Thyself

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  • 22 April 2015
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As Simon Sinek says, why people do things is significantly more important than what they do or how they do it.

By understanding the why, you cut through the noise and distractions of the physical world and lay bare the value they are seeking. For example, when someone is buying a hammer, it’s not because they want to hang a picture. That is just a means to the true value they desire: the feeling of a life well lived (or similar emotion) evoked when looking at the picture. Modern behavioral psychology has shown that marketing strategies that focus on value, like the emotional response described above, is the best way to ensure your message resonates and triggers a desired action.

The impact of thinking in terms of value, however, extends far beyond product marketing. By understanding the value your company provides your employees, recruiting becomes easier. By understanding the value your team provides your colleagues, change management becomes easier. By understanding the value you provide to your team, collaboration becomes easier.

Understanding Your Unique Value

Most of us want to provide value, but we sometimes undervalue what we are and overvalue what we are not. One Reveler, along with 34 of her co-workers, took the opportunity to dig into understanding her real value. She took the journey through an exciting and energy-filled workshop hosted by The Revel Foundry team titled, “Know Thyself.”

She described herself as a financial analyst by day, chef by night. And thought she was comfortable with the image she created in her head, made up of her interests and expertise.

She thought this workshop would be a breeze.

To break the ice, the entire group formed a giant circle around the perimeter of the room and one person was handed a red sharpie. One by one they passed the Sharpie around and shared what they thought the Sharpie could be. Someone claimed it was a light saber, while another said it was the “start of creativity.” After a slight panic and drawing nothing but blanks, it was her turn. She quickly said, a tube of lipstick, and passed it to the next person.

With a slight adrenaline rush, she joined a table of other Reveler’s and chose her partner for rest of the workshop. Through a journey of choosing photos, icons and words, she created a visual snapshot of herself and began identifying some new traits along the way.

She shared these with her partner, exchanged feedback, and refined her snapshot. She then realized there was a lot more to her than she originally thought.

To dig even deeper, the group learned how to visualize this picture using the “T” shaped person method, which Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO explains,

They have a principal skill that describes the vertical leg of the T—they’re mechanical engineers or industrial designers. But they are so empathetic that they can branch out into other skills, such as anthropology, and do them as well.

Now with the ability to connect and understand the objects and words in a new light, she realized her work title was just a small part her T. Her foundation was made up of traits that didn’t necessarily relate to her title.

By the end of the workshop, she felt empowered. With a newly formed perception of herself, she then had the opportunity share it with her team, creating a sense of transparency within the group.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
– George Eliot

Equipped with a new understanding of her strengths, and even weaknesses, she was now able to grasp her true value, and know when to leverage herself and her team.


Contributed by Tim Bowman and Nick Buckley. 78% of US



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