Seeking more accountability in your life? How coaching can help.September 14, 2022
New Year’s Resolution shot? Discover 4 reasons why you’ve given up.January 9, 2023
Values drive our every decision. They are the foundation to who we are and how we show up in the world. The problem is that for many, they don’t know exactly what their values are. Why is knowing our values so important?
Values become ingrained in us as we journey through our lives. They are based on what our parents teach us, what we learn directly and indirectly in school. They are based on our experiences, real or perceived. Even though we might not be able to articulate them, they are always there, under the surface. Values are different from morals in that our values can and do change over time. As we age and reach different stages in our life our values begin to shift.
LEARNING OUR VALUES
As a coach, values work is the very first thing I do with a new client. We do this because a client’s values will form the foundation, just like a house, of all our future work together. Over and over we will go back to them, checking to see if they are being compromised, we’re angry or sad, or if they’re being honoured, we’re happy or content.
Once clients learn their values they are amazed at how much more clearly they see certain things in their world. Why, something their boss or partner did, made them angry. Why, when life feels like it’s finally all going well, that it’s because their values are being honoured or paid attention to.
When working with a coach you are getting better at being able to recognize, articulate and make choices based on our values. As a result it has us feel more like we are living a balanced life.
HOW VALUES AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIPS
When we don’t know or recognize our values they can be ignored or compromised. You will see this in friendships where they suddenly end. When a friend has done something you don’t like and you simply stop responding or reaching out. You may experience it work when you decide to quit your job because the companies values are no longer in alignment with your own. Or you may be struggling in your marriage or long term relationship, noticing more arguments and disagreements with your partner because you no longer hold the same beliefs.
Our values come to play in all areas of our lives, the problem is that we have not tuned our awareness up to be able to recognize them.
EXAMPLES OF VALUES
Recently, psychotherapist Esther Perel, posted a video based on requests from followers, to discuss “What to do if you’re clashing with your partner on values.” She takes questions from viewers about their own relationship struggles and also offers suggestions on how to actually be better at communicating your values to your partner. Perel also helps us to see that the focus we put on the topic we are arguing about is often not the actual issue. That when you can learn to hear and see the value underneath the hot topic, you may actually discover that you are sharing the same value. Because values drive our every decision.
This is why when you work with a coach there is so much focus put on learning values. We must first learn to know and recognize our own in order to be able to recognize values in others. As Perel points out, if we can bring curiosity and open ended questions to the conversation, we may actually discover that we are sharing the same value and are not as far apart as we thought.
If you are seeking personal growth around communication and improving your relationships then working at understanding your own values and giving Esther’s video a watch will support that growth. By working at learning to recognize that value in question during an argument or discussion you will begin to become a better communicator and partner. If you are looking for accountability around this then consider partnering with a coach. This will give you that regular check in and reflective practice that is key to becoming the change you want in your life.
Values drive our every decision. Do you know what your’s are?