What is a Values Coach?

I help you find purpose and meaning in life by living in accordance with your values.

Values Coaching

girl in specs enjoying her day

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be happier than others or seem to handle situations better than others? There are many reasons for this.

A strong community, a sense of confidence and groundedness, and a sense of meaning and purpose all contribute to a sense of personal resilience and contentment.

One way of looking at your state of happiness/contentment is to consider it through the lens of resonance and dissonance.

When things are ‘in resonance’ in your life, they feel good to you. They feel good because they correlate with your personal values, the direction to which you’ve set your inner compass.

You’ve likely heard the term “good vibes”  some people will talk about a felt sense of resonance, or resonating as being in a good vibration or frequency.

When things are ‘in dissonance,’ they don’t feel good to you. You may experience a feeling of being off, or discordant, a sense of off-ness. A fuzzy little off feeling is usually an indicator that we are not in alignment with our values. Not as cringe-worthy as nails on a chalkboard, more of general malaise or nagging off-ness, like shoes that are slightly too tight.

Have you ever been involved in something that didn’t feel good to you but couldn’t pinpoint why? When you work with a values coach, I help you identify and find the resonance.

It’s helpful if you’re clear on something that isn’t working; that gives great clues as to the values you have that you are leaving behind.

Living according to your values will make you feel more aligned, calm, and harmonious.

What Do You Mean By Values?

How do we make that intangible feeling tangible and concrete? And more importantly, actionable? As a values coach, I work with you to identify and connect with your values. This is to say I help you clarify what is important to you, say it out loud, and recognize what motivates you.

We’ve all heard the term ‘values,’ but how many of us truly know what they are? Think of them as the beliefs that motivate you. Most of us adopt the values of the family we were born into and the culture we were raised in.

And some of us reject those values, while others of us shift some but not others.  Have you ever stopped to carefully think through what your values are? Not the values of your religion, hometown or political affiliation, but your unique values, as unique as your fingerprint?

Values are what guide our behavior. In philosophy, values are crucial for ethical human decision making. In psychology, they’re the core of what makes a life meaningful, moving away from short-term satisfaction to long-term fulfillment.

Abraham Maslow, the groundbreaking psychologist responsible for the hierarchy of needs, also noted that they’re an integral part of self-actualization, the highest point on his pyramid of needs.

Need help pinpointing some of your values? Here’s a partial list to consider:

  • Authenticity
  • Balance
  • Compassion
  • Creativity
  • Friendships
  • Growth
  • Honesty
  • Humor
  • Justice
  • Loyalty
  • Peace
  • Responsibility
  • Security
  • Spirituality
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom

Do any of these sound like driving forces for your decisions? For example, do you feel the most alive and resonant in environments that you feel have growth, authenticity, and peace? Do you go out of your way to seek out those things or make decisions based on their presence or lack thereof?

These are questions a Values Coach will help you answer.

How Are Values Reflected in Daily Life?

Our individual values reflect who we are as people and what is important for our self-interests. These values include enthusiasm, creativity, humility, and personal fulfillment.

There are also relationship values that reflect how we continue to relate to others in our life, including our close family and friends, teachers, or coworkers, to name a few.

Values form the foundation of life. Values help with the human decision making process and determine the direction you take in life. Your values will determine aspects of your personal and professional relationships and the decisions regarding important events such as career moves, relationship statuses, and the activities you choose to participate in.

Treating others with kindness is another value that many express desire to practice . Kindness is a value that influences how you see the world and others. When you engage in a coaching session with me, we will uncover values like these to determine what you profess your values to be and what your values actually are. We will work together to determine where your ideals match with your actions.

With my coaching tools, we can get a clear picture of what values have and what values you will act upon – what will be reflected in your life. I will take a coaching approach customized to your needs.

Coaching values list/ values coaching questions

friends enjoying in restaurant

Based on that list, what do you value? Respect? Achievement? Loyalty? Belonging? Being yourself? Security?

As a coach with a focus on values, I will help you clarify and identify your values, help you understand what motivates you, uncover resistances to change and take action that is congruent with what is important to you.

Here are some values coaching questions that can help you identify your values:

  • What do you go out of your way to do or not do?
  • What causes you anger, frustration, or to be upset? (his will help you see what value was not met).
  • When do you feel content?
  • What values must you have in your life to feel fulfilled?
  • What types of values keep showing up in your life?
  • What values are core to how you do your job, maintain your relationships, parent your children, and/or lead others?
  • What values challenge or stretch you the most?

Once you understand your values, you can actively seek out life opportunities that support them, and similarly, you can actively avoid or minimize situations that are incongruous with them.

As you consider your values and how they may impact your relationships at home and work, consider some of these questions:

  • Which of my values does my partner share? Which values conflict?
  • How does my partner support my values, and how do they violate them?
  • Switch seats - how does your behavior impact your partner's values?
  • How does your family interact with your values and vice versa?
  • What about my job and colleagues; how do they interact with my values?
  • Which of my values serve me well - and which cause me problems?
  • Do I carry any values which I should re-examine and perhaps change?

How Values Coaching Works

As I’ve said on my life coaching page, no one needs a coach. It’s not up there with food, clothing or shelter; coaching is a luxury. That said, you might be in a situation where you’ve been stagnant and coaching no longer feels like a luxury—it’s what you want to move things forward in a way you haven’t been able to before.  It’s a bit like when a vacation feels like a necessity—you don't want to recharge; your body  has stopped working as efficiently, it’ needs a recharge. Coaching is an investment in you, your life today, and your future.

Four Step Revolution Process Visual

My clients tell me that they like my groundedness, and tough love. I am not going to light incense and talk about manifesting your reality. I am going to help you clarify what you want and help you pursue it. There are a lot of mental blocks we’ll get through—some you’re aware of and some you’re not. I’ll help you address them.

When I work with a client, you’ll hire me for a finite period of time to help you move from here to there. During that time, you’ll pursue, and ideally achieve (or possibly shift)  your goal, develop new skills and have a good time doing it.

If you’re familiar with my transition coaching, you may have heard this analogy. Say you’re a lawyer, and you're good at your job, paid really well and yet...you're feeling malaise. You feel like you’re destined to do something more, more impactful.

At first, you are aware that you are uncomfortable where you are—your career feels like a jacket that just doesn’t fit anymore. The style is wrong, it’s uncomfortable, and you want out.

And you feel like you want something more. You want to make a more meaningful contribution.

As your Values Coach, I help you accomplish what you seek—more value from your career. You want meaning and impact, and you want your career to better align with your personal values.

So, we work together to assess and prioritize your values so that we can better create a new reality for you.

As your Values Coach, I will work with you on building a vision of this reality. We co-design this idea of what your life will be like based on your values.

We will put up a couple of options, merge these points and those, and start moving toward the direction you think you want to go and adjust, adjust, adjust.

It’s a bit like Mark Zuckerberg’s philosophy of hacking. We put something together that is “so crazy it just might work”, then we tweak and refine it once we put it out in the world.

We experiment. And we reveal and respect what’s important to you.

So, say you’re a values coaching client, a lawyer, and engaged. And you and your partner, who both grew up in the NY metro area, want out of the tri-state area. You want to move—maybe to Colorado.

We put Colorado on the map, and I’ll ask my client about the attributes of the life that she envisions. Why Colorado? What in Colorado is more in alignment with her values? We’ll start to think about her career. Does she still want to practice law, or perhaps she’d like to move into advocacy?

We’ll discuss, plot, and test out ideas. We don't talk, hypothesize, and wonder. When you’re a client, I will help you move forward to take concrete steps on multiple paths you envision. As you walk on these paths, it becomes clear, very quickly, which ones are right and which are not.

I’ve coached thousands of clients over the last almost 20 years. I’ve seen a lot of dreamy “it’s so crazy it might just work” ideas become a reality, and I know how to work with clients to support you toward a future that delights you and has the meaning and impact you crave.

By getting clear on your underlying values, and staying true to those, we can make great headway to find the kind of you you want to be.

Beliefs and Values in Coaching

turn ideas into reality sign

I have been trained in and use Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy approach to coaching. Frankl has an incredible background that really informs his approach.

Many people know Frankl through his best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning. This book chronicles his experience during the Holocaust, where he was a prisoner in the concentration camps for three years.

Frankl shares his observations of the men he was in the camps with—the prisoners and the guards, and how they interacted and what helped some people make it through these desperately dehumanizing situations.

When Frankl entered the concentration camp, he held a transcript for a book he wanted to write about logotherapy. It was his life’s work, and he was clinging to it, hoping that perhaps he could find a way to publish it.

The manuscript was destroyed, but the ideas were not. A central idea of logotherapy is that man’s spirit is always healthy, and if he can get in deeper touch with his spirit, he can keep himself healthy in trying circumstances.

He believed in this sense of one’s spirit being the “mental health medicine closet” for a human. And he saw it in action at Auschwitz and the other concentration camps he was in.

His book, Man’s Search for Meaning, was both the original philosophy of logotherapy, spirit-driven mental health, and his experiences as an observer of and victim of the Holocaust.

Earlier in his career, before the Holocaust, Frankl worked with teens and women who were attempting suicide, treating these patients while pursuing psychiatry and earning his MD. Frankl was eager to learn what kept people ‘going’ while they experienced hardships.

Frankl believed that humans are motivated by something called a "will to meaning," which is the desire to find meaning in life. He believed that life could have meaning even in the most miserable circumstances—like a concentration camp—and that the motivation for living comes from finding that meaning.

Frankl believed in the idea that human life has meaning, which is the central motivational force and factor in mental health. We all seek to understand what that meaning is in our lives and create meaning in any circumstance.

Just think, some people have faced many tragedies and losses, and instead of being broken because of them, they have been made better instead.

If you value love, courage, and humor, the things in your life that embody those things will resonate with you and have more meaning.

With Frankl’s approach, we have the freedom to decide the meaning of our lives. Or the freedom to look within ourselves and reveal what is already there. We have the freedom to be ourselves, shape our lives, achieve goals and seek purposes in life, and we have permission to do things that make our life feel meaningful.

How To Identify Your Values

If you’d like to look deeper into your values and what you find important in life, my clients enjoy this free character survey. It was developed by the VIA Institute on Character in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The institute is dedicated to bringing the science of character strengths to the world. The link takes you to a free survey that helps you identify your strengths.

According to their research, gaining awareness of your strengths can help you increase happiness and well-being, find meaning and purpose, boost relationships, manage stress and health, and accomplish your goals.

The survey will provide your rank order list of character strengths with the strengths that are most core to your identity at the top. Their VIA Character Strength Report is a paid survey that provides personalized and in-depth analysis of your character strengths and actionable tips on utilizing them to your advantage.

The first is free, so that’s a great place to start. If you’d like to go deeper, do. Both resources will help you begin the process of learning how to walk in your values and maximize your strengths.

Values in Life Coaching

If you find yourself stuck or swirling in inaction, values can be your compass, helping you to find yourself again.

How does a sports coach motivate her athletes? She sees the best in them; she knows their potential—often potential they don’t realize they have.

She sees you’re an incredible sprinter, but your ball skills are lacking, so she boosts your weaknesses while playing to your strengths.

As your Values Coach, it's also my job to see, and boost your weaknesses, while playing to your strengths, so we can unleashyour  potential.

When I work with a client, we work on a specific, tangible goal or desired state, like “leave my job,” gain more confidence,” “create other career options besides finance,” etc.

When we work together in a coaching relationship, we work together for the entirety of our engagement, not just during each coaching session. Don’t save your questions (or challenges) for the in-office visits. Drop me an email! We’re working on this together.

While you’re taking action between sessions, I want to hear from you! What’s working and where are you getting stuck?. I am not a “see you at the next session” type of coach. I expect to hear from you between sessions. So be sure to check in with me. I want to hear from you.

Now I know my commitment to your growth may seem a little too good to be true, but it’s what works for me, my practice and my clients. It’s how my clients have been able to see the most success.

Every coach has their own values in life coaching that they bring to the table. My values include connectedness/relationship, professionalism, excellence, curiosity and humor. Maybe I’m for you, and maybe I’m not. These are the values that motivate me to do my best for you.

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ICF Coaching Values/ Coaching Values

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I am a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a trade organization that aims to advance the coaching profession. Their CORE values include professionalism, collaboration, humanity, and equity.

As an active member, I attend regular coach training (continuing education) and have earned a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) level credential; the second-highest coaching credential one can earn.

I am currently pursuing training for an MCC (Master Certified Coach) credential. As of late 2022, there  are only 1850 coaches who hold this credential globally, and I intend to become one of them in 2023.

I am committed to improving, growing and honing my skills through continuing education. In the last five years, I’ve completed both the ‘Happiness Course’ with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s ‘Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction’ program at UMass.

I attend ICF’s biannual coaching conference regularly. I keep up with my continuing education and strive to evolve my coaching practice to stay at the forefront of the industry. Excellence is one of my values :-).

Is There Relevance in Understanding Values in Coaching?

Yes! Absolutely. A value based professional coach like myself can help you clarify and identify your values. Many people think they know themselves pretty well, but after a  coaching session or two with me they discover a few surprises. I help clients understand what motivates them and dig into what makes them resistant to change.

What Is the Connection Between Your Values and Your Goals?

The A compass is a classic metaphor for values. A compass helps you stay on the right path in the right direction. Your values act as your compass and ensure you head in the right direction. So that your actions are aligned with you. Goals are what you aim for—your destination.

While we have talked a lot about personal value, let’s touch on organizational value a bit as well. Organizational value is what impacts a company. It refers to how they do business, make decisions, and their ultimate purpose.

Organizational value is a guiding principle that provides a company with direction and purpose. It helps create its mission statement. Are you an entrepreneur with a new company struggling to find a real purpose? Are you switching careers and jumping into a new company? Are you struggling with finding the leadership skills you need in your career?

I have coaching resources you can use to help with these transitions to find the connection between your values and goals throughout your professional life. Values based leadership builds on shared beliefs as a common set of goals is shared.

Values Clarification and Its Purpose

What is values clarification? Simply put, it is the process of defining your values and prioritizing them, putting what is most important to you toward the top. It is about finding clarity

I can help with values clarification during our life coaching sessions. This can help you develop the insight needed to make positive lifestyle changes and live up to those values you feel are most important.

Values are an important part of self-analysis. When you are aware of your values, you can create a level of self-awareness to help you make better decisions and align yourself with what truly matters in your life. With professional coaching, you can further clarify those values.

Final thoughts on Values Coaching

What are your thoughts on values coaching services at this point? Have you identified some of your key values? What did you learn from taking the VIA Survey of Character Strengths survey and report?

Remember, Viktor Frankl, stated that life has meaning, and we create that sense of meaning in our own lives by making a difference in the world.

When you book an introductory coaching session with me, we can dive in more on these concepts and how we can make them work for you.

Who knew the answer to boosting confidence, increasing happiness, strengthening relationships, reducing stress, accomplishing goals, building meaning and purpose, and improving work performance was hiring a Values Coach?!

Let’s get to work!


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