The Powerful Work/Life Benefits of Clarity
Spending the past 20 years in communication-centric roles have taught me many important lessons, including the power of Clarity. These hard earned lessons around Clarity (and supported by numerous academic studies) have found their way into my work with clients. Two key themes fuel my coaching approach: Clarity and Alignment.
In coaching, Clarity brings two valuable results to clients:
Clarity creates a road map. If we know what we value, we can craft a life that allows us to drive toward a specific destination. For example, if you value comfort and financial security, you will want to make different choices than if you value adventure and risk.
When we align our behaviors with what we value, we typically end up working and living a life that brings us higher satisfaction and joy. Why? Because we are spending our time living a life aligned with what we value.
These results sound intuitive, but all too often we get caught up in the busyness of everyday life and the flow of a career and can lose track of aligning our actions around what we really value.
When initially working with a new client, we spend time getting really clear on who they are and what they want to achieve - personally and professionally. We talk about goals, barriers, opportunities, challenges, behaviors (the helpful ones and the not so helpful ones), key relationships and more. The goal is for the client to gain deep clarity around the important questions in life: Who are you and who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? Who do you want with you along the way?
Only after they have clarity around what is (and is not) important can we begin to construct plans that align behaviors and actions with goals - aka Alignment. The key here: Alignment is only possible after Clarity.
There are a number of ways to gain Clarity: Retreats, workshops, coaching, promotion or job loss, therapy, health crisis, etc. While valuable experiences, many of these approaches carry a financial and/or personal cost. I prefer a tool based on the Personal Values Card Sort created by researchers from the University of New Mexico. I adapted the tool and you can download the worksheet I use here.
The exercise makes defining your values pretty simple. It offers a very long list of suggested values (and space to add your own) that most of my clients find empowering as they begin to reflect on what is and is not important in their lives.
The first step is to review the list and then sit quietly and listen to your head, heart and gut. Ask: What values resonate? Many of my clients find it interesting that some values may resonate with their head or gut (security, achievement, wealth) and others with their heart (family, adventure and creatively). Your next task is to rank these values as Very Important, Important or Not Important.
Once you have your list of Very Important you cull the list down to the top 10 and then rank those 10. This process forces you to really think about what your heart, head and gut say are important to you.
A key part of this exercise: Don't judge your answers. Some of my clients have felt embarrassment about their need for achievement security or wealth. The goal here is to get to Your Truth.
Once you have Your Truth, you can begin to dive deeper and ask questions like:
How do I spend my time? Does it align with my values?
What do I need to start or stop doing to live a more aligned life?
Are there any values that I am neglecting? How can I bring more alignment to that value?
Working with a coach can help you gain Clarity and determine strategies for how you can live a more Aligned life that gives you more of what you really value and want out of life. We would love to help you with this journey. Shoot us an email to learn more.