As an executive health and wellness coach whose methodology includes identifying and understanding one’s core values, strengths and purpose, I thought why not write about the subject of values. The idea of honoring and trusting one’s values and using them as a personal rudder, steering oneself in the right direction day in and day out is not a new fundamental of leadership; however, like any good fundamental, successful people go back to them during times of imbalance. Many of the techniques and exercises below are as a result of my training with Adler Learning International.
Today is Part III the final of the 3 part series on How to Create Your Own Powerful List of Values that are meaningful to you, and only you.
Part III involves working with the values list you created in Part I and II. Specifically, you will rank your values, identify which ones are currently being honored and implement specific actions to honor those core values you may have ignored. Finally, you will have specific queries to use when its time to make those tough decisions going forward.
Before You Begin
I want to take this opportunity and acknowledge you for your commitment and courage in getting to know yourself better and becoming your best self, enjoy!
As always, before you begin this exercise, I encourage you to review your current list of values and then take a quick peek at Goleman’s (Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ) explanation on values once again.
Second, block out about an hour or so on your schedule when you find you are at your creative best. Perhaps its early on a weekend morning, or late at night when all is quiet, whatever works best for you. It’s important to be in a peaceful frame of mind and in a ,quiet area.
Now assuming you are in a good place, physically relaxed, mentally focused and spiritually calm let’s begin Part III.
Exercise Around Working with 7 to 10 Identified Values*
So, now you’ve completed some really good work, congratulations! One final set of exercises that will take you to that next level in aligning yourself with your core values and becoming an even better version of yourself, let’s go!
1. Prioritize the values on your list. What is the relative order of importance of the values on your list? Which is most important for you? Second most important?…continue the process until you have prioritized your entire list.
2. The values you are currently honoring. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being low and 10 being high) what is your current level of satisfaction with each value in your life at this very moment. That is, use the score to indicate to what degree you feel you are honoring that value in your life.
3. The values you need to work on. For those values where the satisfaction level is below a 7, ask yourself: What is this costing me? What is the obstacle to honoring this value more in your life? How strong is this obstacle? What will it take to remove this obstacle? What will that give you?
4. Take actions that will honor your values. What specific actions can you take to honor this value (referring to those whose satisfaction level is below 7) more fully in your life, in the short-term and long? What will the impact be on your level of fulfillment and ease and gracefulness with which you live?
As you well know Rome was not built in a day, in other words, aligning yourself with your values is a process and can take some time. So, what small step(s) can you take right now that will make a positive difference today, that will move you from a 4 to a 5, a 5 to a 6 and so on? A series of small steps over time can have a significant impact on creating those changes necessary in creating a life more aligned with a particular core value.
Conversely, what is the most radical step you can take to honor your values more fully? You know, sometimes you just have to take that ‘plunge’ and dive right in! Sure, you will go through an initial period of shock, however, it will be well worth it, deep down you know that, don’t you?
Going Forward, Tough Decisions and Tasks
There will be times going forward that you may want to play it safe, to conform and be practical, so don’t be surprised when those moments arise and more importantly, don’t beat yourself up, please. Instead, take the time to understand what happened (or didn’t) and make the appropriate adjustments (actions) and continue to make that commitment in expressing your best self through your work and life.
When challenged to make a difficult decision, ask yourself the following:
- How will doing this help honor my core values (or that of the company you are employed by?)
- Of the options available, which is the one that is best aligned with my core values?
So, simply base decisions on your core values, this will reduce the likelihood of any procrastination and promote more energy in your life, good stuff, isn’t it?
- What if I approach this task as an opportunity to honor my top values?
- What would it feel like if I were to honor a specific value more fully in doing the task?