How Do Your Values Shape Your Choices?

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Your personal values dictate how you act, react, respond to situations and handle life and crisis. Your values and personal beliefs help to define who you are and how you see the world and allow you to make choices as to what you consider to be important, worthy and desirable so as to help you determine what goals you set for yourself.

Your values will influence your decisions related to all aspects of your life including your relationships, career, friends, activities you engage in and the importance you place on certain decisions. In just this way a team within an organisation also has a set of values that they try and live by (some more successfully than others).

Interestingly, not many of us really take the time to recognise and understand our own values and many of us simply adopt the values that our parents instilled in us rather than recognise and develop our own values. Many teams also do not recognise the values of each member and recognise what is held important and by whom.

To truly understand what values both you and your team possess, one of the first things you need to do is deconstruct them until you are able to clearly see what exactly you value and why you hold those values.

One of the great exercises I often do with a team I am working with is to hold a ‘Values Auction”.

In this “Auction Game” you get to basically ‘rate’ the values that are really important to you by the size of the bid you make. The team can write down the list of all the values they feel they have on a list (below is just an example)

So try this:

·         Imagine you have $1000 to bid for one or more of the ‘values’. You cannot exceed $1000 in total.

·         You then have 5 minutes to decide which items you want, and how much you will pay for them.

·         When the auctioneer is calling for bids, you can increase your bid if you want to, but remember that you may then have to offer less for another item, or drop an item from your list altogether if you spend too much money.

·         As all the items are sold to the top bidder, write down who has bought which item and how much they paid for it.

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As a result of this exercise individuals (and the team) gain significant self-awareness of their real drivers in life.

Do you know what Values shape your choices?

Want to know more about how your values shape your choices and living your values? Send me an email at to enquire about training and coaching.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Wellbeing Strategist, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing. You can find her at or