This exercise uses values cards to clarify values. Values exercises usually lead our clients to identify global or large-scale values such as ‘good health’ or ‘family’. These are valuable to our clients but can become difficult when it comes time to apply them. In this exercise we use the values cards to look at what values underpin those global values.
We start by asking the client to write down one value. Place this in front of the client for the entire exercise. Then, have them sort the values cards into two piles: ‘most important’ and ‘less important’, in line with the global value. What values do they want to hold in the service of this value? Ask the client to try and sort the cards into fairly evenly sized piles.
Then, place the ‘less important’ pile to one side. Ask the client to re-sort the ‘most important’ pile into two again. The ‘less important’ pile is put aside again. Repeat the exercise – we want to have between five and seven values in the ‘most important’ pile. Ask the client to arrange these values. We then ask the client to explain how and why these values relate to the global value. We now have a strong understanding of the foundation values that underpin the client’s ‘family’ value, and a guide to how we might consider actions to serve that family value.
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