A Simple Process to Help You Understand Your Values

Values are important when you are looking to accelerate your career and perform at an exceptional level because it is imperative that your workplace environment and culture align well with who you are and what is important to you. This process is a quick way of defining what is important to you in this area. It doesn't have to be perfect and you should review your answers a few times to get the best possible "read" on what really makes sense to you as your key personal values.

This exercise and the one on balance are products of the Co-Active Coaching Model. The book "Co-Active Coaching" is an excellent resource for communicating with others in a much different way. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get ahead in their careers and lives.

Step 1

Take a sheet of paper and write out the numbers from 1 to 10 as if making a list.

Step 2

The following list is representative of words or phrases that illustrate values. On your piece of paper, list your top ten values in order of importance to you (you are not limited to the values noted below – make some up if you like).
If you are struggling in completing this, look for your values in some of the following areas:

  • Peak experiences, i.e. when you are “on” and time disappears?
  • What makes you angry or drives you crazy?
  • What are you obsessive / compulsive about?
  • What you must have or can’t live without?

List of Values

Accomplishment
Acknowledgement
Achievement
Accuracy
Adventure
Altruism
Autonomy
Bonding
Clarity
Commitment
Community
Completion
Connecting
Creativity
Directness
Emotional
Environment
Excitement
Freedom
Fun
Honesty
Intimacy
Integrity
Joy
Leadership
Learning
Loyalty
Mastery
Nature
Openness
Orderliness
Partnership
Personal Growth
Power
Privacy
Recognition
Risk taking
Romance
Security
Self-expression
Sensuality
Service
Spirituality
Trust
Vitality
Other...make up your own.


Step 3

Beside each value on your top ten list, indicate how fully you are honouring that value in your day-to-day life...right now.

Give it a 1 rating for "Not at All" and a 10 rating for "Fully Living This Value".

Step 4

Examine those values where you have rating your satisfaction as at least an 8. How do you feel when you think about this? It should "feel right" and resonate with you. You may feel as sense of comfort and maybe even a bit excited by this value.

Now examine those values that you have rated less than 5. What is the feeling as you look at those words?

Now what sort of work place or work environment would help you increase your ratings of your values to a number higher than 5?
This is where you start to see the picture of what sort of workplace you will thrive in. If for example, "security" is a key value of yours and you work for an organization that fires people at the drop of a hat - you would feel pretty nervous going into work each day knowing that you could be fired at any moment without a good reason or explanation! Clearly this would not be a productive and enjoyable workplace where you could perform your best!

Keep this page of values handy and make sure any role you consider or look for aligns with your core top ten values.

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