Contributed article in our professional development series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
If you could only take ten of your most important Values with you to a desert island, what would they be? That powerful question was prompted during an exercise in a class I was attending at the Coaches Training Institute, one of the lead coach training programs in the world. The entire exercise proved to be my “road to Damascus” moment with regards to my career coaching practice I was building. I realized that a happy, fulfilled and successful career is almost always going to be built around the cornerstone of honoring your most important values.
“Values” is an inherently loaded term, one that can often infer societally-defined morality. It’s not. Values are qualities that define a fulfilled life. When we honor our values in our life, we are fulfilling our internal sense of purpose. When I went through the exercise, I was asked to name all of the values that are important to me in my life. One way to coach on this topic is to ask a client to remember the best day of their life, and start naming all of the words that come to mind when describing that day. For me, it was my wedding. Values like “family,” “friendship,” “creativity” and even “Portola Valley” came out from that session. I then had to rank my top ten values based on the question of “which ones would you bring to a desert island,” which forced me to think about what I really can’t live without in my life. And then, the part that was simultaneously gratifying and personally painful: ranking each of the top ten values in terms of how well I am honoring these values in my life, right now. Continue reading