The I. We. You. They. source method is a way to make sense of how much agency and choice individuals think they have as they navigate a complex challenge.
The I.. We. You. They. concept is based on the natural human behaviour of describing their perceptions and perspectives by using a range of personal pronouns. Although the formal personal pronoun board describing an individual’s self-reported perceptions and perspectives is ‘I’, individuals will use a range of personal pronouns to describe what they are trying to make sense of. The different personal pronouns used by individuals, generally unconsciously and implicitly, are a valuable way of understanding their perceptions and perspectives, and their ownership and contribution to them. Naming and claiming this personal pronoun use can also be used for deeper explorations of the disseminated self and the parasocial self.
The purpose of I.. We. You. They. is to understand the level of contribution and ownership that individuals are describing in their perceptions and perspectives on a particular situation. Often, a person will use the personal pronoun ‘we’ to describe their individual perceptions and perspectives but without having the consensus agreement from the group of people they are describing with the ‘we’. Individuals also frequently use the personal pronoun ‘you’ to describe their own individual perceptions and perspectives that they may not fully own or realise their contribution to. By becoming more aware of personal pronoun usage, it becomes much easier to understand ownership and contribution, and to achieve group consensus.
- To understand contribution and ownership in a situation
- To clarify when a person is speaking for themselves and when they are speaking for the group
- To understand the relationships between an individual and the team
- To understand the relationships between an individual and a culture
- To understand the relationships between a team and a culture
- To understand the relationships between individuals
- To engage with perceived impostor syndrome
- To establish a psychologically safe environment