Last week, I had the immense pleasure of conducting a coaching training course for the CT Women’s Business Development Council. I shared the day with an amazing, inspiring group of women who work throughout Connecticut and are heart-committed to helping others get on more solid ground with their finances. (By the way, if you don’t know about the Women’s Business Development Council, do check them out!).
In the program, we conducted a number of role-play exercises illustrating the power of coaching, and one exercise truly took me by surprise. In this exercise, each of us explored our intrinsic, heart-felt values – what we care about deeply and what we need in our lives to feel fulfilled and to craft a life worth living.
After the exercise, we evaluated how these values are supporting us, and also how they may be clashing, in fact, with our desire and need to make more money, and to save and invest wisely. Fascinating discussion…
In doing the internal work of this exercise myself, I was reminded that I value the following traits very highly in my work:
1) Helping people make positive, lasting change (value: making a difference)
2) Authenticity and individuality (value: truth-telling)
3) Offering help and insights based on reality (value: realism)
4) Delivering programs informed by research (value: expertise/diligence)
4) Endeavoring to offer something of value that exceeds what my clients pay (value: service)
When I compare my values and behaviors to those of some other service providers, I see key differences. A large number (not a majority perhaps, but many) consultants and providers these days seem to value making money over all else, by:
- Using hard-hitting marketing promises to convince clients about what they can achieve (no matter how likely those outcomes are)
- Accepting clients who are desperate financially, but don’t have the ability to recoup the money they invest in the coach/consultant
- Encouraging clients to put out programs and materials that offer less than high value or strong content
- Making abundant success sound very easy and very accessible to all
- Talking about how they personally made their money, not what the client needs to do in these times to make their own money
- Using fear tactics to scare clients into thinking if they don’t hire the consultant/coach, they’ll fail
On the contrary, when I looked very closely at my own values as well as my outer behaviors, I realized that my intrinsic values have prompted actions that in some ways clashed with my desired outcome of inviting more money into my business. As an example, I tend to give far too much away for free and then feel resentful and angry, and I have a hard time honoring my own boundaries about the type of coaching projects I will and will not accept.
After a long, hard evaluation, I now understand that what I want to change is not my values, but the way in which I express them. For instance, I’m focused more keenly on being of service to people who are in synch with me about what they value and the outcomes they wish to produce. I’m also more committed to working with those who are happy and able to pay fairly for the time and support they receive.
The ultimate goal, I think, is to honor your values fully, while engaging in conscious behaviors that are in alignment with who you really are and what you want in life.
It’s a very powerful exercise to understand exactly what you value, and explore how these values prompt unconscious behaviors that hold you back from achieving core goals such as greater financial success. I’d recommend doing this exercise today!
Question for the day: What do you value deeply in your life and work? And how might these values be (unconsciously) promoting behaviors that hold you back from creating a higher level of desired success. Please share what you discover!