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Values are the parents of your chosen or unconscious behaviour. If someone at
a meeting or a party rubs you the wrong way, chances are that you have picked up
something about them that doesn’t fit your set of core values.
On my website, you’ve had an opportunity to glimpse my core values: Love&
Compassion, Authenticity, Honesty& Integrity, Health & Vitality, Passion
& Creativity.
Without even realizing it, the way I interact at work and at home reflect these values. It is the beginning of any self-development work to take a closer look at your own driving values and even at those of your colleagues or direct reports.
In the field of Neuro Linguistic programming, the study of how language affects behaviour, there’s an exercise called ‘The Parts Integration’. Its main premise is that all humans operate from their values. I found it fascinating that you can identify a feeling or an action as coming from a ‘part’ of your body. Amazingly, when you ask people to
identify anger at a co-worker or sadness at a lost job opportunity and ask them
to point to it, they can visualize it coming from somewhere in their body.
The rest of the exercise takes a leap of faith and involves isolating
and speaking to the part about what “it” wants for the person to whom it
belongs. And the question that’s repeatedly asked is “even more than that, what
does it want?” until the “part” reveals a deep core value. This value can be
anything such as ‘happiness’, ‘love’, ‘truth’ or ‘peace’.
I remember one American woman in class standing up angrily and fighting with the instructor when she gave Osama Bin Laden as an example of a man whose core value was ‘security’ which explained his acts of heinous crime against his fellow man. But
I understood the instructor’s point.
One other exercise that coaches use to determine a core value is to ask a client to describe their happiest moment in life. Often, this is a clue as to what is a key value. In a recent talk I gave, I asked a volunteer to identify his happiest moment. After embarrassed giggles about ex-rated moments potentially being this happiest moment, the actual happiest moment he identified was of finishing the Iron Man marathon.
Clearly, one of his core values was Achievement.
In the Value Bridge exercise that I mention in a previous post, you can see why you need to figure out what values are at work within you and your colleagues. When you
speak to someone from the framework of their values and not your own, you give
them comfort and allow them to understand your position much better than if you
were speaking from your own frame of reference. This principle is also at the
heart of Equus, the horse language that a horse trainer named Monty Roberts
discovered and used to improve the art of horse gentling.
Going back to my volunteer in the above example, if I’m a team member or someone managing him, knowing that his core value is Achievement, I can definitely speak to him with this in mind. This, in turn would ensure a more favourable reaction or result.
After all, wouldn’t you love to have your boss or clients talk to you in a
way that recognizes your core values?
With kindness as always,
Chala

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