Before you can work with any client, it is important to do a life values inventory with them.
A life values inventory will tell you what is most important to your client. Their life values determine the kind of decisions and choices they make for their life. As a coach, if you don’t know what directs their decisions and choices, you won’t understand their motivation. If you don’t understand their motivation, your guidance towards them may be based on your own life values. Starting our your coaching relationship with a life values inventory is essential to getting real work done.
There are many challenges one faces when they aren’t aware of their life values.
- Inner Conflict
- Lack of Purpose
- Bad decision making
- Failing relationships
Inner conflict is a mental struggle arising from opposing demands or impulses. When a person is unaware of what their life values truly are, they can often be in a state of inner conflict. They may have two opposing values. As a coach, you can help them become aware of what their core values are and try to find a compromise to either meet both values or eliminate a value.
Self-sabotage is related to inner conflict as it is most often the result of the inner conflict. When a person is in inner conflict, they are making choices that may not meet one of their values and instead work against that value. If we take the life value of “independence”. There are many ways a person may seek to feel independent. However, the ways they choose to achieve independence may cause them to sabotage other things in their life that are important. They may push people who love them away or not challenge authority when resulting in ruining parts of their life. When you help them identify their life values, they can begin to make choices that result in their life values being fulfilled.
When a client doesn’t know what their life values are they don’t know what truly makes them happy. They may go day to day with circumstantial happiness. When they know what truly makes them happy, they will be able to make choices that create long lasting happiness instead of short term happiness. As they are living their life values, they are able to have an underlying happiness that isn’t affected by day to day disappointments.
Lack of Purpose
Finding your purposing and living it is incredibly fulfilling. When we are unaware of our purpose we generally feel unsatisfied. Helping you client identify what is fulfilling to them on deeper values level will spark a feeling of self-worth and purpose in their life. Their purpose will drive to excel and attain goals. By understanding what their life values are, they will be able to identify their purpose move forward, past their obstacles.
Bad Decision-Making Skills
Without knowing one’s life values, how can a person know what decisions are in their best interest? Most people make decisions based on how they feel or what seems right in that moment. But, is it right in the long run? Does it satisfy their deeper needs? If a client understands their life values, they can use that as a guide to check against any decisions they may be making to see if they conflict with their values. They may still choose to make decisions that conflict with their values, creating inner conflict, but at least they will know that they are making a choice for or against their values. Something they didn’t have before.
When we know our life values we can choose partners that have the same core life values. One partner may have good parenting as a life value. That may be high on their list of what’s important to them. Most decisions they make are to benefit and add to their children’s lives. The other partner may have travel as their life value. And they would prefer to spend extra time and money traveling the world. The same as an inner conflict, this is a relationship conflict. If these values are realized they can result in ruining the relationship with fights and power struggles. However, when each person understands their own life value, they are able to find solutions where both have their values met.
As you’ve read, helping your client with their life values inventory is essential to start your coaching relationship. When both you and they understand their values, you will be more effective in your work.