How important is understanding someone’s values when you’re coaching?

I think it’s crucial as someone’s values impact how they learn and grow, what they choose to prioritise and the effectiveness of how they interact with and garner support from others.

While you can just ask someone about their values what I’ve found to be more effective is to ask in detail (in a range of subtle ways!) how they’ve been filling their time.  Sometimes what we say we do is not the same as what we actually do and helping people recognise consistent behaviours and what this says about their values provides lots of really useful content for coaching conversations.

As an example here are some things I consistently do where I’ve found understanding the value that sits behind them has boosted my commitment to keep doing them or find ways to do them better…

  • I get up early to exercise and use this time to let my mind wander…. I believe the body and mind work best in harmony and I place great value on looking after them
  • I like to be around as my youngest gets ready for work… because I value the opportunity in busy lives to build our relationship by asking him about things I know interest him or to (try to!!) put a smile on his face.
  • Commit time and energy to writing these posts… because I value so much the learning I take from reading and believe we should commit to share ideas even if there’s only a tiny chance they might be useful.
  • Play and practice golf… because I value the opportunity to remember the impact of those no longer with us (my late father took the time to ignite my passion for the game), a fun (sometimes!) way to get fresh air and exercise, the satisfaction gained from the commitment to the challenge of trying to improve and an opportunity to strengthen existing connections and to build new ones.

Just a small sample but I hope you can see a detailed look at the value that sits behind what you consistently do is a good source of continued motivation and growth and can help keep you true to how you’d like to live your life.

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