The Value Exchange

The Concept

The best relationships have a value exchange—something essential happens for both people. This is especially important for especially difficult conversations. But often our most vital conversations get increasingly unbalanced as they get increasingly difficult and dense. One person must be right at the expense of the other. One person’s gain implies the other’s concession. And yet, contributing in the world is one of the most fundamental human desires. So the Sage creates a way for the other person to contribute—to make a difference—in every situation. This requires a shift from an exclusively materially-oriented frame of reference to a much more expansive frame of reference. Designing for both the seen and the unseen.


Deep Dive

Are you more likely to insist on having it your way in situations where you are making a more marginal contribution?


Think of someone who is consistently difficult to work with, never seems content with any compromise, and sometimes behaves even more poorly when you give in and they get their way. How can you create a path for them to contribute in new and meaningful ways?


In what relationships are you confusing the deal with the value exchange? Describe a time when you assumed the deal was the glue of the relationship and you unknowingly changed the value exchange. In what relationships are you experiencing an essential value the other person might not be aware of? Is it time to let them know?