An Exercise in Values

Before you read on, write down your top 5 personal values (Don’t just read on, actually get yourself a piece of paper and do this!).

Of your 5 values, pick one (it doesn’t have to be your most important, just pick one). Now take time to answer these 6 questions about the value you have chosen. Most importantly - be honest!

  1. How does having this value serve me?

  2. How does having this value impair me?

  3. How do I react when this value is challenged or violated by others?

  4. What is the blind sport I have because this value is important to me?

  5. How does having this value cause me to suffer?

  6. How does having this value give me peace?

What did you notice about your answers? Interestingly, we discover that even the most noble of values have a dark side or a shadow when we interrogate them. We can fool ourselves into believing that we only live out of the positive aspects of our values but little do we know that anything we value or need at a deep level can actually produce a blind spot or imbalance for us. We can really benefit from consciously identifying our core values and the impact of them on our lives, our relationships and in our organisations.

These great questions are an extract from an article entitled The Hidden Truth about Values by Wesley Group (July 15, 2013).