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by | Feb 14, 2021

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What’s important to you?

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you will find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience, and connections in our unprecedented times.

I hope you enjoyed the new e-book we sent out last week called ‘The Year that Changed Everything’.  I have appreciated all the great feedback and many of you have passed it onto friends and family too. 

As I write this week’s blog it is Valentines Day.  I hope you are having fun.  I ran a session with my Master Practitioners this morning and was reminded that it doesn’t matter if you are alone or with a partner, it is important to practice some self-love today too!  I will certainly be finding time for some quiet reading.  As it is Valentine’s Day, I want to talk about how do you create a relationship that fits your needs?  This could be important if you are single and searching for that next special person or you want to improve the relationship you are in.  One way of doing this is to find out your relationship values and to reflect on whether they are being met if you are in a relationship, or, to use them to make a more informed choice next time. 

When things are not going well in our relationship it is often because there is a values conflict between what is important to us and what is important to our partner. For example, if one of my top three relationship values is excitement and my partner’s is security, we could have an issue as I want to experiment and experience new things whilst they want to keep things as they are.  Got the idea?  However, as our values are largely unconscious so it can be very useful to find out what they are…often my clients get a real lightbulb moment when they say to me ‘now I know why that just doesn’t work for me’.

Aligning your values to your goals

I’m going to show you a powerful process that you can use to discover your values in relation to your relationship.  If your values are aligned to your partners, it will become much easier to achieve them as you’ll naturally feel motivated and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them.  So, once you have done this for yourself it is a good idea to elicit your partner’s values too. 

When eliciting values, it is best to find someone who can work with you to ask you the questions. Choose a friend who can act as your coach.  One of the rules of this exercise is to ask them to keep going with the questioning, even when your answers dry up. This is because your conscious values come out first, as they are at surface level. Your unconscious values are those that you are least aware of and are likely to come out later and may prove to be the most important of all the values you identify.

Step 1: Elicitation

Get your exercise partner to ask you the following question: ‘What’s important to you about your relationship?’ By the way, these should be relationship in general and not necessarily the one you are in.  That is because we’re going to check out your current relationship against your values later in this exercise to ensure that they are fully aligned.

Your partner must write down the words that you say and not suggest any answers, as these are their own values, not yours. Here is an example to help you get the idea.  When you are asked what is important to you about your relationship, you say in quick succession:

  • Love
  • Security
  • Learning
  • Independence
  • Flexibility
  • Variety

You then say you can’t think of anymore. That means you are at the end of the first wave. Your partner carries on asking ‘What is important to you about your relationship?’ regardless to discover your second wave or those values held at a more unconscious level. You then say:

  • Passion
  • Communication
  • Fun
  • Inspiration
  • Personal Growth
  • Authenticity

So, six more values are identified from the second wave. 

Here is the list so far:

  • Love
  • Security
  • Learning
  • Independence
  • Flexibility
  • Variety
  • Passion
  • Communication
  • Fun
  • Inspiration
  • Personal Growth
  • Authenticity

Step 2: Hierarchy of values

Your exercise partner should now give you the list of values and ask you to pick the top 8, and then rank them in order of priority. This may seem a challenge, and yet it is important to understand the most important through to the least important.

Step 3: Re-write your list

Your exercise partner should then re-write your list in the order you have given. You may find that some of your most important values came out in the second wave of elicitation. This is quite common and means that some of your most important values were those held at an unconscious level. Let’s assume that this is the final list in our example:

  1. Passion
  2. Fun
  3. Flexibility
  4. Personal growth
  5. Authenticity
  6. Security
  7. Love
  8. Inspiration

You’ll notice that passion and fun from the second wave are now at no. 1 & 2 on the list demonstrating the importance of carrying on with the questioning. 

Step 4: How does your relationship stack up?

Now ask yourself how does my relationship stack up against these values?  Go through your list of 8 values and score your current relationship out of 10 against each value.  See the hypothetical example below for guidance.

  1. Passion – 2/10
  2. Fun – 10/10
  3. Flexibility – 6/10
  4. Personal Growth – 8/10
  5. Authenticity – 3/10
  6. Security – 4/10
  7. Love – 9/10
  8. Inspiration – 10/10

I normally break the scores into three categories:

0–4                       High risk area

5–7                       Medium risk area

8–10                     Low risk area for the relationship.

In our example, the two highest values are a high risk and low risk area for the relationship.  Unless this relationship can develop more passion your motivation to continue it will likely decline over time.    

Ask yourself where the high and medium risk areas for your relationship are and what can you do about it.  

Download our ‘Keeping Well’ video and e-book for free here !

Take care and keep safe.

Until next time.

Lindsey Agness and Team NLP