Chaining Criteria and Values by Redefining Them

Situations often arise in which there seem to be differences in the core values or criteria of individuals or groups. A company, for example, may have a core value of "globalization." Some individuals within the company, however, may be driven by the criterion of "security." These types of seemingly fundamental differences can create conflict and dissension if not properly addressed in some way.

One way to deal with perceived conflicts in values is to use the Sleight of Mouth pattern of redefining in order to create a "chain" linking the differing criteria. As an example, "globalization" can be easily reframed to "working together with diverse people." "Security" can be reframed to "the safety of being part of a group." In many ways, "working together with diverse people" and "being part of a group" are quite similar. Thus, the simple verbal reframes have closed the gap between the two seemingly incompatible criteria.

As another example, let's say a company has a highly valued criterion of "quality;" but a particular person or team within that company values "creativity." These two values might initially seem at odds with one another. "Quality," however, could be reframed as "continual improvement." "Creativity" could be reframed as "producing better alternatives." Again, the simple reframes help people to see the connection between the two seemingly disparate criteria.

Try this out yourself using the spaces provided below. Write two seemingly opposed criteria in the spaces titled Criterion #1 and Criterion #2. Then, reframe each criterion using a word or phrase that overlaps with the criterion but offers a different perspective. See if you can find reframes that "chain" the two initial criteria together in a way that make them more compatible.

One example might be:

Professionalism —> Personal Integrity Self Expression <— Freedom Criterion #1 —> Reframe #2 Reframe #2 <—Criterion #2

Try finding reframes that help to chain the two criteria listed below:

Customer Service —> _ _<— Increased Profit

Criterion #1 —> Reframe #7 Reframe #2 <—Criterion #2

Write your own examples for Criterion #1 and Criterion #2 in the spaces below, and find simple verbal reframes that will help to create a chain linking the two.

Criterion #1 —> Reframe #i Reframe #2 <—Criterion #2

Criterion #1 —> Reframe #i Reframe #2 <—Criterion #2

Chaining criteria is a form chunking laterally in order to link seemingly opposing values. Another way to avoid or resolve potential limitations and conflicts that can arise from the language used to express values is to chunk down values statements into more specific expressions, or criterial equivalences.

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