by Judit McAlley (UK)

The Oxford Language dictionary defines values as: ‘principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.’ Based on our values we decide what is right and what is wrong. They are the basis of how we act in various situations. And they are an essential component of coaching.

People work with coaches for many reasons, but they all are searching for answers and solutions and many times that search goes deep under the surface. The coach guides and supports their clients in discovering profound details and aspects of their lives. Together they uncover the client’s underlying reasons, motivations, beliefs, and any blocks.

That deeper level is the home of the values. We can use the well-known metaphor of the iceberg. Above the surface are the behaviours we demonstrate and which are visible to the outside world. But the motivations for those behaviours are below the surface and invisible. Among those areas of our personality are upbringing, culture, education, and, of course, our values.

The behaviours on the surface can be changed with simple actions and tools. However, if those actions are not in line with our values the change will be temporary. One of my clients was asked to improve her selling technique and increase her sales figures. She did what she was shown and advised to do, and applied more aggressive selling methods. However, it didn’t feel comfortable and despite all her efforts, her sales numbers did not increase. The chosen action was not in line with her underlying beliefs and motivations and thus didn’t yield the expected results.

In our sessions, we went deeper into understanding the reasons behind her uncomfortableness about more assertive selling. One of the exercises we did was to uncover her core values. She looked at selling through the lens of her values and identified new ways to build strong relationships with her clients. By doing that, her sales figures increased. She could achieve this because her actions were aligned with her values and underlying motivations.

Source: iCN Issue 31  (Life Coaching: Personal & Professional Empowerment); pages 27-28

About Judit McAlley

Judit McAlley is a transformational life coach. Her clients have one thing in common: they all feel that there is more to life than what they have and do now. For more than 6 years, she has been guiding and supporting people through their search for a new direction, purpose, various challenges, and towards their goals. Her approach is to go deeper by looking at the underlying reasons, potential limiting beliefs, old habits, and patterns which no longer serve her clients. She believes that identifying those enables the fundamental shift in them which is key to lasting change.