In Blog 34 I wrote of how I had been running workshops in India. One of the techniques I had used to enable managers to review their corporate cultures was VETS - Values Elicitation Triangles. I had learned this at a session run by Douglas Pride at the November 1994 ANLP Conference. Nowadays I can see a few references to VETS on the Internet although I have not managed to find any references back to Douglas Pride – so let me know if you find anything.
The reason I put this out as part of my series of blogs about TA ideas is because I think it links in with racket feelings (Berne, 1966; English, 1971, 1972). Named by Berne after protection rackets run by gangsters, I explain in Hay (2009) that these are “a form of manipulative behaviour that is designed to force others to do what we want . . .that threaten severe discomfort to others if they fail to modify their behaviour to suit us. For example, we may make it clear that we will sulk if not given first choice about where to go for a holiday, or we may establish a reputation for angry scenes if the work is not completed exactly as we require.” (p.154).
Hence, although the VETS technique may help us to recognise our positive values, we may then realise that we will engage in various unhelpful behaviours in order to try and force everyone else to act in line with our core values instead of allowing them to make their own choices.
In Hay (1995a, 1995b) I described how I used this technique with a group of managers, as follows:
Conclusion of step 4 means you have identified your core values. An example from a participant resulted in the fairly short sequence shown in the figure.
The managers then formed groups to compare their core values and consider the impact of them on each other and on the organisational culture. In one company they were middle managers and were fascinated to realise that they had a high degree of shared values with each other but unfortunately not with the corporate values as stated in the mission statement. We then went on to consider what options they had about this!
Berne, Eric (1966) Principles of Group Treatment New York: Oxford University Press
English, Fanita (1971) The substitution factor; rackets and real feelings Transactional Analysis Journal 1:4 225-230
English, Fanita (1972) Rackets and Real Feelings Part II Transactional Analysis Journal, 2:1 23-25
Hay, Julie (1995a) The 4 C's of Working with Difference: Change, Culture, Conflict and Creativity Rapport No 29 Autumn 11-13
Hay, Julie (1995b) TA and NLP INTAD Newsletter 3:2 4-8
© 2018 Julie Hay
Julie is a fan of open access publishing so feel free to reproduce any of these blogs as long as you still attribute it to her.