As the magnitude of COVID-19 sinks in, we all are once again reminded of our interconnectedness as humans sharing the one planet we call our world. An unfolding phenomenon like this has the capacity to bring into sharp focus who and what matters to us most; this often seems to be lacking in how we prioritise and express ourselves when all is running relatively smoothly.
Could this be a chance to stop and reflect? All the measured advice we are receiving has a core message – protect ourselves and others – protect life, as far as humanly possible.
Last month, I urged you to think about your values as a way of highlighting what matters most to you, and then to choose your top 5. I wonder if you managed to do this and if you did, what did you discover about yourself, your partner and your workplace?
“Values act as a rudder, gently steering and adjusting your path when necessary, to keep you aligned to what matters most to you.” – Sally Thorp
A.C.E. Your Values Plan of Action
After identifying your values (Step 1), I now invite you to look at your choices (Step 2) against the backdrop of your top values. It is at this “choice junction”, that awareness meets expression (Step 3); this is when you choose your action.
When you’re in a situation where you have to make a choice, a helpful question to ask yourself is the following: “Is what I am about to do or say aligned with my deepest values?”
If your answer is yes, your choice is simple. You would then consider how to express that value, through your words and actions.
If your answer is no, you need to consider the possible risks and unintended consequences that may come from your decision, should you choose to go against a value you hold dear.
Ask yourself what the possible impact will be on your relationship with and connection to yourself, those you love, and/or your job, colleagues or employees. Can you live with those risks and consequences? A sobering thought is that your choice will have been made consciously, so you will need to take responsibility for anything that arises as a consequence of your choice.
What to do when you stray off course?
Pick yourself up and go back to step 1 on the ACE model.
Step 1 – Awareness
What happened? Remind yourself of what matters and why it matters, and that you are human. Understand the factors that contributed to you going off course. When you are clear on those, move to step 2.
Step 2 – Choice
What new choices might you need to make in order to get a different outcome – one that’s aligned to your values?
Step 3 – Expression
What might you need to do or say differently?
Next month, I’ll share the connection between values and healthy boundary setting and why they are vital allies in cultivating equilibrium between home and work.