During a recent seminar we taught a section on understanding values. Looking at the hierarchy within your neurology and the motivating force behind them. We had such a fantastic response and a profound positive change in thinking of all of our students, we thought we would write a bit about values so you could all benefit from some insights and clarity, that knowing your values can bring.
Let’s start with the basics, what are values and why are they important?
Values are how we decide whether our actions are good or bad, right or wrong and they are how we decide how we feel about those actions. So it is our values that drive us, motivate us, to do the things we do, they are things we are willing to spend energy on. They shape our lives, actions and perceptions.
How can I understand and elicit my own values and put them in order of importance?
Good Question! It is important to elicit your values in a specific context so think about an area of your life that may not be working for you as well as you would like, either Relationships, Career, Family, Health and Fitness, Finances and with one of these particular contexts in mind ask yourself the question, “What’s important to me in the context of my Career”? (or the area of life you have selected) And start to write them down as they come to you e.g. security, good income, honesty, appreciated, knowledgeable, fun, respect..........etc
These will flow easily at first and then you will seem to run out, when you think you have run out for the first time ask yourself “What’s important to me in the context of my career?” Rest assured more will come to you. When you seem to run out for the second time ask yourself “What ELSE is important to me in the context of my career?” interestingly it is not uncommon for some of your most important and dearly held values to only come to mind on this third time of asking.
Now with your list of anything between maybe 15 to 30 or maybe even more values, have a read through them and starting with the one you know to be your most important put a 1 beside it and then put 2 beside your second most important and 3 at your third and so on until you have them all numbered sequentially in order of importance to you.
How do I understand what drives each value, what is the underlying motivation behind them?
What we need to do now is write a new list but this time only put your top 6 – 8 values on it as these are the only ones that truly carry any real juice for you, these truly are the ones that drive and create your actions and behaviours.
Now it is really important to discover whether our values are toward motivated or away from motivated in other words are we moving towards a positive benefit that we want or are we avoiding a painful outcome that we don’t want. So take your number one value first, say in this case it is honesty and ask yourself “how is honesty important to you?” and pay attention to the things that pop into your mind. And example would be....
Honesty helps to build strong interpersonal relations with colleagues and clients. (TOWARDS)
Well people just wouldn’t trust you if they thought you were dishonest. (AWAY FROM)
You will very quickly get an intuition for this so just write down that gut feel as a percentage towards and a percentage away from for each of your values and you will end up with a list similar to the one below.
1. Honesty – 40% T 60% A
2. Security – 20% T 80% A
3. Fun – 70% T 30% A
4. Good Income – 50% T 50% A
5. Respect – 30% T 70% A
6. Growth – 60% T 40% A
What you will find doing this process is that a lot of your most important values will be heavily motivated by away froms so you are more avoiding what you don’t want rather than moving toward what you do want. This is very common when people have an area of life that consistently doesn’t work for them and they can tend to become quite stuck and in a rut. If you were 100% motivated towards what you wanted then effectively you would already have it.
After going through this process and maybe discovering that you are a bit stuck please give us a call at the Office....we are always happy to help.
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