This week, students will be engaged in, what I believe, one of the most important activities they will do in this coaching class.
Students will be asked to identify the things that are most important in their lives – their personal core values. On the coaching/class site, I have an extensive write-up on the importance of understanding and living your values, as well as a couple of inspirational videos that we use to emphasize this importance. It’s definitely one of those activities that provide a great deal of insight for students.
“Your values are the things that are most important to you and form the foundation of your life. They are the principles, standards, and qualities you consider worthwhile or desirable. They guide your actions, decisions, and choices for the better on a daily basis. If you notice that something isn’t quite right in your life, a lot of times it’s due to a conflict in your values. Your values have a lot of influence on your relationships and the partners you choose, your behaviors, and your personal identity; it’s important to know and understand them in order to live a more fulfilling life! Knowing your values can have the most influence in your life – now and in the future.”
We start off the class with a quick, two-minute reflection, asking them to identify the five things most important in their lives right now; our goal is to get a quick snapshot of what’s important in their eyes, from their gut. No thinking here, just their first response. In the past, we were able to connect their most impactful stories to their most important value – being healthy. Last Fall Semester, more than half of the students shared a story about a family member passing away due to some health issue – and that death influenced them to live a more healthy life. Here’s the data from Fall Semester, 2017: what’s important to me results, fall 2017. I’ll be collecting that data again and posting it in October. After this quick reflection, we’ll have a short discussion about the assessment, about values, and the activity they’ll do in class.
After that quick assessment, they’ll be engaged in the Value Tags Value Assessment Activity. In a nutshell, they will take the stack of 36 values and come up with the FIVE most important values, rank-ordered from most important to fifth most important. For most, this will be really hard because some of the values that they thought were most important actually are not as important as others. Once they come up with their five, they’ll write a sentence or two explaining why that particular value is important and/or how they engage in that value on a daily basis. I show them an example of my #1 value – fitness/health – and how it comes into play for me. I share with them the list of workouts I’ve completed on a daily basis – since January 2, 2000. Yep, that’s right – I’ve tracked every workout I’ve done for 18+ years! That’s my commitment to my most important value! Amazingly, I’ve been keeping track of my workouts longer than most of them have been alive!
We’ll also have a discussion about how they change over time and how they can impact your decisions regarding health, education, careers, relationships, etc. It’s one of the more engaging conversations we have during the semester, although it will be different this semester because they’ll be doing the activity in class vs. for homework. If you’re interested in doing the activity in your setting (whether in a class, in a workshop, with your staff, etc.), here are the links to the instructions and to the tags:
- Instructions: value tags assessment instructions, 7-24-17
- Value Tags (Note: The boundaries of the pages are without outside margins so that we can cut them without making extra cuts on the outside).
If you decide to use them, all I ask is that you give credit where credit is due.
Know that this is another piece of the puzzle of “knowing yourself.” Last week, it was their personality type; this week, their values. Next week, we’ll have them explore both their character and engagement strengths. All of these pieces will be used in helping the students identify and construct their meaningful work statement – a statement that defines how they will use their talents and gifts to serve the world in a profound way.
Let the fun begin!