Well, you’ve had a good swipe at your values and now it’s a great chance to cut a little deeper. Did you know that people find it really hard to be honest with themselves about their values. It becomes one of the most complicated things we do in human development.
Let’s try to understand why. From the time we are born people project onto us their opinions about what is right and what is wrong for us. They think, they are doing the right thing but they don’t realise that every human being is born with a fingerprint specific set of values. And therefore as they try to mould us into the same mould that has screwed up their own life they begin screwing up somebody else’s. So it is complicated to work out your values because you have to untangle yourself from the values of those around you. This takes a little bit of courage.
We begin by saying that just because your values are different to somebody else’s doesn’t make you separate or isolated from them. In fact knowing someone else’s values means you know how to communicate with them and be a better partner friend or business colleague. So understanding the concept of values and your unique ones, is not in contradiction to but absolutely aligned with being a better version of yourself and doing better at work and at home
One of the most extraordinary things that we find in human nature is that when a person works really really hard on things that are low on their own value chain but high on somebody else’s value chain they lower their self worth. That’s rather extraordinary so sometimes the harder we try to please people the worse we become. The harder we try to prioritise things as somebody else is asking us to the more likely they are to reject us because nobody treats us worse than we treat ourselves and when we are working on our lowest priorities we are treating ourselves badly.
So it’s my personal opinion that knowing your values is the single most important thing you do in any form of personal growth. If you just understand this aspect of yourself, and therefore can understand this aspect of others you will learn how to communicate better, sell more product better, handle conflict better, and be more supportive and attractive as a friend and father and mother and son or daughter.
Knowing a persons values, in particular your own does not get resolved by asking them what the values are because as I’ve said above, we are so tangled in this spool of spaghetti that we don’t understand whether we are living somebody else’s values or our own. A big hint to this might be the number of times you hear or say the word should in your daily life. We say should when we project the values of somebody else onto ourselves or with Project the values of somebody else onto others. For example “saying to somebody you should go and see a doctor.” In offering that advice we are being compassionate but we are also casting our values on somebody else’s reality and if they’re not already seeing a doctor it’s because that’s their choice. If we’re gonna honour people and respect them we also need to respect their choices and their values.
This topic has become even more complicated in recent years as the diversity of the workplace has become extreme. We have refugees coming from other countries with new cultures and new lifestyles, we have a new outlook on our sexuality and therefore a new outlook on the human condition. Therefore our workplace is absolutely the most likely place we are going to meet such a range of diversity in our lives. In our private lives we can isolate ourselves away from diversity by hanging out in neighbourhoods that are of like-minded people and similar thinking individuals with same social economic backgrounds and same philosophical beliefs. But in the workplace this goes out the window and we are asked to work with people we would often choose not to live with or nearby.
The secret to handling this new diversity is an understanding human values and being able to work out what a persons values are without asking them. If a person has been bought up in south Asia their values may not be even to their own awareness. They may have their values stamped deeply in their own DNA. So the question and the use of language to extract values from people is a very very sluggish and probably in accurate process. And therefore we present to you in this part of the 30 day challenge these 13 questions. When you do this process please make sure that you observe. Rather than to say what you would like to have around you absolutely observe what you do have around you. If it’s fishing rods and fish hooks, you probably have a value on getting away from people and creating space. If it’s children’s toys you may have a value on being childlike. Try not to translate these things into common every day language such as a good parent. Being surrounded by toys and pictures of children is not about being a good parent it is about the child inside of you wanting to have playmates.
There was once a global movement toward the idea of values based leadership. The reason that this stumbled was that it is so hard to get people to be honest about their values and then we started projecting value saying, we will invent a company theme of values and you will behave according to those values. The whole process got railroaded into more a cultural brainwashing then it was about learning the real truth about people’s values and helping them work towards those values.
So now you have a chance to be one of those unique people who get past issues and their conditioning and list out their values. There are two different ways to do this one is the 13 questions with three answers each and what you do is you answer those questions as honestly as you can and simply as you can and then go back and add up similar answers to find out what appears to be happening more often and that becomes a fairly good indication of your highest value. That’s about as scientific as it can get. The next process offers you some variables and this is fun you’ve done a mini version of this already and are in the part a of
On those sheets I’ve given you examples of how you can put anything you like in the values list across the top and the exact same values list down the column. You then go through and make your choices where each value intersects. Then you just simply add up which one you chose most, then second most and third. The accuracy gets a little bit rough as you go down towards the lowest values.
What do we know? We know that people who work on low priorities, in order to satisfy other people’s priorities beat themselves up. We know that we sabotage anything that we cannot link to our highest value. We know that when we work towards fulfilling somebody else’s highest values but at the same time fulfilling our own we make everybody happy and this is a very cool place to achieve and it’s called, sales, management, leadership, romance, relationship, parenthood.
So we have a great quote which is link it or sink it.
What does it mean? It means that when we go to do something we need to link it to our highest value and if we can’t link it to our highest or even second highest value we should sink it. Sink it means let it go. If you do something and you can’t link it to your highest value you’re gonna sink it anyway.
Think about a child in the room and you say clean up your room. You’re telling the child that your value is a tidy room and that the value needs to be the same as your value. That’s cool brainwashing or Maoism or some form of socialist process which means your values should become the child’s values and they need to get used to the fact that they can’t live their own values. They push back and then they argue that they don’t want to clean up their room and you then say if you don’t clean up your room I won’t give you XYZ. Now you’re linking not doing the cleaning of the room to something they want. So all of a sudden you’re starting to get in sync with the values process because you’re connecting what you want to have done with what they want. Unfortunately it is a double negative.
It’s basically saying if you don’t do it you won’t get.
Probably far better to say every time you clean your room you get another tick on the board and with every tick you get more of something you want. For example, given something that’s rather controversial at the moment I would say, every time you clean your room you get a tick on the board which is another 15 minutes of Internet whenever you want. Every time you wash the dishes you get another tick on the board which is another 15 minutes of Internet whenever you want now that’s linking their values with your values and it’s far better than being a hypocrite saying if you don’t do what I want I’m going to punish you.
So the example of working with a young person and a home and doing a double positive or a double negative is exactly where you need to go when you think about your values and your self talk. Do you say to yourself you’re such an idiot for not doing something. Or do you give yourself a reward for doing something. We are very good at calling ourselves idiots and punishing ourselves emotionally for not doing something but we are very poor at giving ourselves rewards for doing something we committed to. It’s almost like the doing of something positive becomes a default expectation and the doing of something negative is worthy of punishment. That prescription has to change in a person who wants to be at the hi end of life or business. No sports person on earth who achieves anything at a global level is talking to themselves in double negatives. And that’s what we’re going to focus on tomorrow. So please make sure you get your shit together do your second sheets even if it means staying up overnight because tomorrow is a new day and we’re going to build tomorrow based on this really good little exercise and I’m sorry if you’re gonna miss out on Netflix tonight but it’s worth it.
All said with a smile on my face.