«

»

Mar 28

Values Elicitation Exercise

This exercise is one that I share with my clients in the early days of our coching relationship as it helps me to understand them better.  Often it also helps build awarness for the client as they may not be fully aware of what is most important to them in their personal or professional lives.  By being clear on their values I am able to provide clarifcation to around making choices that are more fulfilling and aligned with their values. We are also able to  strategise appropriate actions according to their values and we can recognise situations where conflciting values may be an issue.

What are values?

Values define who we are.  Values represent our unique and individual essence, your ultimate and most fulfilling form of expression and relating.  When you honour your values on a regular and consistent basis, life is good and fulfilling.  When you are not honouring your values life becomes uncomfortable and unfulfilling.

Honouring your values is about taking congruent action towards expressing your values.

Important life decisions are easier to make and more fulfilling when the decisions are made in honour of your values.

Honouring your values has a three-fold advantage

  1. You will become more motivated towards a specific action
  2. You will undermine the Ego/Gremlin because actions based on your values is more powerful than actions based on your Gremlins reason for taking or not taking another course of action
  3. Life will be more fulfilling.

Vaues elicitation

Consider the follow questions then write words that appropriately describe your response.

Peak Moment.

Identify a moment in your life that was particularly rewarding or poignant.  It is key here to pick a moment i.e. being told something rather than long duration i.e. a holiday.  Now answer the following questions

What was happening?

Who was present?

What was special about that moment?

What feelings did you have at that moment?

What were the values being honoured at that moment?

Suppressed values

Identify a moment that was a low moment in your life.

What was happening?

Who was present?

What was challenging about that moment?

What feelings did you have at that moment?

What values were not being honoured at that moment?

Must haves

Beyond the physical requirements of food, shelter and community, what must you have in your life to feel fulfilled?  List at least 5 things

Obsessive Expression

We are all capable of obsessive behaviour, insisting on honouring a value until it becomes a demand rather than a form of self-expression. Our friends and family are very good at pointing out the obsessive expression of a particular value, for instance they may say “You’re too ______” or “You always ________” or “all you think about is _________”.  List some of these here – and remember there is no right or wrong here , there is only what you are.

Here are some more questions to help you uncover your values

  • What qualities do you hold in high regard, when you see those attributes demonstrated in other people?
  • What qualities do you hold in low regard, when you see those attributes demonstrated in other people?
  • What cause or principal would you sacrifice, suffer or maybe even die for?
  • Beyond the physical requirements of food, shelter and community, what must you have in your life to feel fulfilled?  List at least 5 things.

Once you have identified your list of values the next task is put them in order of importance to you.  I recommend a list of no more than 10 values.

  1. Create the list: Start the list by placing what you feel are your most important values at the top.
  2. Test the list: You can then test this and reorder the list by asking yourself the question “Is this value of _____ more important to me than this other value of ______ “.
  3. Reorder the list: values that are more important than other ones should now take a higher place on the list.
0saves
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

About the author

Mark Buchan

Mark is an Agile Consultant and Executive Coach who specialises in working with leadership teams when they are transforming their organisation to a more Agile way of delivery.

2 comments

  1. Matt Terry

    Thanks Mark, once again such a timely post for me! What are your thoughts on specific/vague values? Is it better to have concrete/measurable?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Mark Buchan

      Great Question Matt.

      The best values are those that are intangible for instance, honour, integrity, trust, courage and so on. from these intangibles we are able to draw on hidden or until the point of access unobtainable sources of inner power. This is when people resign over points of “principle” but in actuality its their values that are being not honoured or lived. Which bring me to the next point of living our values. In the courses that I run I get the teams to do a values exercise but I get them to identify bheaviours – tangible ways in which their values will be met. By living and acting according to our values we demonstrate congruence – alignment of what we espouse along with the convictions of our actions.

      I hope that has answered your question, but if you want some more input I am happy to respond further either by email or skype.

      Mark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.