Themes often emerge in my coaching. When I notice a theme, I figure there is a reason for my involvement; perhaps to write about it and share it with you. The current theme that’s emerged is around values –specifically -using our core values as a barometer to measure leadership satisfaction and fulfillment.
So, what are core values? “Values are intangible. They are not something we do or have. Money, for example, is not a value, although money as a resource could lead to honoring values such as fun, creativity, achievement, or service to others. Travel is not a value. Gardening is not a value. But both are examples of cherished activities that honor certain values including adventure, learning, nature, spirituality.”1
Even though our values are intangible, they are not necessarily invisible to others. We can often get a sense of what people value by the way they dress, how they stand in a room, the topics of their conversations, or how they interact with others.
So what are your core values? The first step in leading and living in a way that gives you a sense of wholeness, satisfaction, and peace is getting clear about what qualities and behaviors you value most. With that clarity, you can take stock of your daily activities and choices, and assess how each honors your important values (or not).
Step 1: Identify your core values and write them down. If you’re not sure what your values are, try the exercise below.
Values Exercise: Think about a time when you were involved in something you really enjoyed. Perhaps, alone; perhaps as part of a group or team. Perhaps related to work, or sports, or spiritual activities, or family. Recall this high point experience, and consider what made it so significant for you:
What was it about yourself, others, the situation or scenario that made this a treasured experience for you?
What qualities, skills, behaviors, or approaches were especially meaningful to you?
As you answer the above questions, see what values you can extract from your high point experience. Use this listing for some additional help.
Keep your list of values on hand this week. Notice which of your daily activities and choices are MOST aligned with your values. Notice which are LEAST aligned with your values. And be sure to check back here next week for Part 2!
1 Co-Active Coaching, 2nd edition, Davies Black Publishing, 2007
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