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Advanced: VETing from Negative Emotions

Question for stories from negative emotions

Move #1: Reverse the Frame

Values can get crowded out by internalized expectations. If you notice a negative self-image, ask them what the positive reversal of that would be.

Can you identify a negative self-image in the story above? Ask about a positive one!

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Move #2: System Fix

Values can also get crowded out by external factors. In that case, find a question by getting rid of the problem.

Can you identify a pressing need, goal/fear, and/or expectation? Ask a question that removes it!

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Move #3: Bad Times/Better Times

Sometimes people have trouble seeing that their values aren't tied to the specifics of one story. In that case, find a question that invites them to think about similar Bad Times or Better Times.

Are they stuck chewing over the same details? Ask for more stories!

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Move #4: Advice

Sometimes people haven't reflected on their story before (or maybe they aren't very self-reflected in general). In that case, ask them for some Advice they would give themselves.

Are they struggling to talk about values? Find a way to give advice to their former-self!

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Move #5: Admiration/Appreciation

Sometimes people's more easily recognize values they Admire or Appreciate in others.

Ask them how people they admire would act! [CAREFUL: you might get an image they are pressuring themselves with here. If so, bring it back to a value or use another move.]

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Move #6: Love, Love, Love

Ask what wasn't being loved/is worth loving in this situation?

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Move #7: Interviewer's Values

For me __(broad value)__ is like this ... how is it for you?

When someone doesn't know what values are, they tend to drift around to various things that happen to stand out (just as they do in values-blind designs). Bring them back to the point.

Are they having trouble seeing throught the fog? Reference your own values!

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Move #8: Trauma Move

When emotions seem "outsized" or "too big" for the events they are connected to, they indicate an earlier trauma. Point this out to your interviewee, and make sure they are open to exploring that right now. If so, use the "Trauma Move", then the flip, fix, advice, and love moves as needed.

Ask them to think of the earliest time they felt this way. Then ask them to tell that story as if it were about someone else. Listen carefully and hold space for insights (let them interpret it). Help them discover how that person is having trouble living/being/showing up.

Make sure you tune in to the other person. If it feels like they want to stop, make sure they know that is totally fine. I've seen this be a very healing moment, but unless you are a professional psychologist, don't offer advice. Just be there to hold space for them to feel their own feelings.

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Read a worked through example of asking some of these questions
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Structured Interview
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Wisdom Moves