I completed a Meaningful Moments article on values about 18 months ago after focusing on people’s values for the 10+ years I have been coaching. After going on the World Values Day conference and reading “Values” by Ed Mayo and “Coaching with Values” by Lindsay West I have only scratched the surface.
Values defined by the Oxford English Dictionary are “principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement about what is important in life”. Mayo say values affect how we behave in a powerful way but they are not easy always to engage. Businesses often pay lip service to their values. It is harder to realise the true potential of values, which is to engage staff, customers and suppliers in an emotional way that touches on their own core motivations. In the UK, 90% of top companies have a clear statement of values and expected behaviours, but research suggests that few if any track or report on how they live up to them. Integrity is the most cited value followed by passion.
Bill George former chairman and CEO of Medtronic and now a lecturer at Harvard cautions that “you do not know what your true values are until they are tested under pressure. It is relatively easy to list your values and to live by them when things are going well. It is under pressure – when your success, your career, or your life hangs in the balance – that you must decide what your values are”
West says values are the things that are important to us, the foundations of our lives. They are deeply held principles that guide our choices and behaviours and influence our emotions. Values are the core of who we are. They are the fundamental things that need to be present in our lives for us to feel happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment. They are motivators, the things that make us tick, the passion in our hearts and the reason why we do the things we do. Values provide us with the unconscious why for all of our actions and choices; they are the reason we do the things we do.
In my last Meaningful Moments on values I said family was one on my values but West says this isn’t a value but a chunk word and is too generic a level to be meaningless as values. So, it is back to the drawing board for me. Do you know what your values are? It is really important as defined by:-
The closer we live our lives in line with our own individual core values, the more positive emotion we feel, such as happiness, fulfilment, satisfaction and calmness. Equally, the further we live our lives from our core values, the more negative emotions we feel, such as sadness, frustration, anger and intense unhappiness.
Understanding our core values is the first step to understanding what makes us happy.
If you want to understand your values either read these two books https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coaching-Values-coaching-lasting-difference/dp/1504939182/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479301760&sr=1-3&keywords=lindsay+west or get in touch with me and we can explore together.