The older I get the more I learn that the most valuable thing to me is time:

        Time with my kids

Time to work on my to do list

Time to spend at the beach

Time to take care of my health and my family

Time to visit my family in Ireland

Time to spend with the people I love, laughing and enjoying their company.

If the genie popped out of the lamp, my three wishes would be simple. Time, time and more time. I think you get the picture. My currency is time.

When it comes to the business world, I always say the first thing you need to do in any work relationship is discover the currency of your coworkers and management. It can apply to any relationship but it is important to learn what makes people tick. Here’s how you can begin:

  1. How do I find out what my currency is? Think of it in the context of a job offer, if there was one thing that was most important to you during that negotiation what would it be? For some people is money, for others vacation, for some it could be furthering their education. For me it is time, I need flexibility to be my best self at work and at home. Spend time to think about it and share with others what your currency is.
  2. Do you know the currency of your partner or coworkers? If you don’t, start the conversation. I ask everyone, “What is most important to you to be successful in your job? How do you measure success? How do you like to be rewarded or recognized?” These types of questions can lead to a good conversation where you will learn what is most important to the individual and discover their personal currency. Let me share with you an example. I had a coworker who was not happy at work who was considering leaving the company. He went to his manager to say he was not happy and he was resigning. He was given a counteroffer of more money and he declined it. When I spoke to him about what he was leaving, I asked some open ended questions and I found out that he did not feel like he was having an impact on the products that were being brought to market. After our discussion I realized, it was not the company or the money but the ability to impact the final results that was his currency.
  3. How do I use this information? By learning an individual’s currency, you can learn how to frame a problem better with the individual; you can find mutual ways to be successful by helping them get paid with their personal currency. It will help you to avoid bad hires, loss of good talent, and better more productive relationships overall.


Buzz-Worthy Lesson: Know your currency and learn the currency of others.