Values are what’s important to us and are our unconscious drivers that create the motivation for everything we do. They determine our behaviour, what we do with our time and they set our evaluation criteria to judge how we or others performed. Values are not so much about what you think, but rather affect how you think.
My post picture today is the rear view mirror of our car – how comfortable do you feel with your unconscious driving the car? Wouldn’t it be useful to know consciously what drives you and for that matter what drives other people? Could that help you communicate more effectively with yourself and other people? Just suppose it could help you motivate other people more effectively?
In The Heart of Values , my first post on the topic of values, I explained what values are and how to find out someone’s values, or your own values, for a specific area of life by the direct route. “In the context of your job/work/career/business (whichever word works best for you to describe that area of your life), as it is now, what’s important to you?” To find out what your values are you need to take the first thing that pops in to your mind. If you attempt to answer this question too consciously, then you’ll start to think too much. You’ll start to come up with things that you think should be important or that you think others expect you to see as important. Are those your true values?
So could you go another route to find out your own values or someone elses? Certainly one person may find it easier than another to trust those answers that pop up from their unconscious mind. Factors such as childhood conditioning, the work environment or culture, your connection, or lack of, to the person asking the questions about your values and what’s important to you, can all affect your answers. And they can increase the tendency to come up with what you think your values should be.
So instead you can find your values and so your drivers, or someone elses, by reverse. Start from what annoys you and work backwards to what’s important to you. Think of what drives you nuts about others in that particular area of life – be it work, relationships, health and fitness, spirituality, family, personal development – whatever that is it’s likely to be something that’s most important to you and so is one of your values or connected to one of your values. Maybe it drives you nuts that your boss never says ‘great job’ when you’ve done something spectacular – could that suggest you value ‘appreciation’? Perhaps it gets to you that your daughter talks back to your husband – that may suggest you have ‘respect’ high on your values hierarchy.
In addition you could also think about what type of people are you most comfortable around? How would you describe the values of those people? Now if we assume perception is projection is correct then whatever you perceive as their values are likely to be a reflection of what’s inside you and your own values.
Finding out what’s actually important to you, what drives you and therefore what you value can be an enlightening experience. It will show you what motivates you, why you behave a certain way and provide the reasons you judge things as you do. Similarly it can provide amazing information on those around you and what makes them tick. Values can explain frequent conflicts, for example about money if wealth is high in your values and yet doesn’t even register for someone else close to you. It can give you valuable information on how to motivate others effectively and as a manager it can help you know what your team need from you and the business to feel fulfilled in their work. Curiosity certainly didn’t kill the cat, so let it run wild.
I’ll leave you with some food for thought and the words of Mark Twain “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- Excerpt From My upcoming book “Free Your Mind And Your Life Will Follow; Chapter 3: OUR VALUES AND HOW WE ARRIVE AT THEM. (C) 2010 (lisawilcoxon.wordpress.com)
- Motivation VS Inspiration (imagine101011.wordpress.com)
- Personal Values as the Keys To Contentment (moneyning.com)