Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

Category Archives: Coaching Development

The value of working on your values

ValuesExploring your values is an area that many coaching conversations will visit where such a discussion might help you understand the times when you are conflicted or feeling things aren’t quite the ‘fit’ they once were.

The thing is that your values:

  1. are more or less flexible
  2. change over time
  3. are the internal compass that send your actions and behaviours in certain directions rather than others.

Value of values

You can see why understanding your values and reflecting on how well you are living to them is such an important piece of work. Firstly,the clearer you are about your own values the more deeply you will be able to understand why you ‘click’ better with some people than with others. Secondly, recognising points in time that your values seem to have changed, can help you reflect on your own personal development. Finally, knowing your key values helps you make decisions guided by these new drivers of behaviour.

One more thing to realise is that one value rarely exists independently of others. Can you be fully aligned to your value of ‘honesty’ whilst demonstrating being ‘caring’ for someone, when you have some pretty challenging feedback for them? Are you able to act collaboratively to show the value of ‘partnership’ whilst also being highly ‘self-reliant’?

Opposing Pairs

When these opposing pairs of values are at work you can feel confused, agitated or just downright cross. How do you deal with it? Whilst the following 5 steps won’t resolve all situations like this, you will get greater clarity if you:

  1. Take a moment to understand the reasons that you feel this tension
  2. Rate the relative values in terms of their importance to you
  3. Be really clear about what you want to achieve from the situation
  4. Test how you would feel if you selected Route A and then do the same if you selected Route B. The difference in the way you feel may be significant
  5. Vocalise how others would review your actions to see if that makes a difference to which route to take. If you prefer hearing “She was so kind” to “She helped me sort out a plan” then you have another option for moving forward.

Your values are really important. Don’t get too attached to them but do some work on them at key times because it is work that is really … well … valuable!

When you want some great executive coaching or you want to do some coaching development, contact me here. I’ll be delighted to work with you.

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