There are a variety of exercises suggested in the handbooks that come with the cards. What follows are two examples, one from each handbook.
Exercise 1: What are your strengths?
If you are unsure what your strengths are in a particular area of your life, you may find it helpful to keep track of the abilities you use, how well you use them and what satisfaction you gain from using them, for a set period of time (e.g. one week). However, do have a go at this exercise first – you may surprise yourself!
Step 1: You may want to consider what your strengths are in general or pick a particular aspect of your life, such as:
- Career / work
- Finances (this can include material wealth, physical environment and possessions)
- ‘Significant other’ relationship
- Family and friends
- Leisure / travel / fun
- Personal development
You may even want to consider a particular situation, e.g. different communication situations, a specific work task.
Step 2: For whatever area(s) you wish to cover, there are a variety of ways to sort through the strength cards. What follows are some suggestions:
- Prime strength – I’m strong in this and enjoy it
- Secondary strength – I’m good at this, but would only want to use it for short periods of time
- Strength to develop – I’m occasionally or quite strong in this and would like to develop it further
- Sufficiently strong – I’m occasionally strong in this and know I can call on it when needed
- Not strength and not interesting – I’m not strong in this and have no interest in developing it at present
You may use whichever categories you wish – or make up your own. When I did this exercise myself I used:
- Prime strength (I’m strong in this and enjoy it)
- Secondary strength (I’m good at this, but would only want to use it for short periods of time)
- Not a strength and/or absolutely no interest in it
If you are considering more that one area of your life, you will need to write down the strengths for each area. You may notice some strengths are found in all areas. These are likely to be your core strengths.
Exercise 2: Prioritising values
To work out the order of priority your values have, use the cards that you have placed in the ‘yes, this is important’ pile. You usually find you have plenty to work with form this pile. There are a variety of approaches, which can be taken. However, I recommend that you use the follow approach that integrates all the values, rather than put them aside or ‘discard’. So here it is.
Spread the cards out that come from the ‘yes, this is important’ pile so you can see them all. Look at them and find values that include or encompass other values within them. For example, one client of mine selected ‘frankness’ as core, with values such as ‘integrity’, ‘honesty’, ‘trust’ and ‘respect’ included within it.
You want to find between 4 and 6 core values. Any more and you are unlikely to remember them.
What’s great about this approach is that you are already getting a fuller understanding of what the core values means to you.
Apart from ideas on how to use the cards that are supplied on the cards, I imagine you will come up with some too that will fit the circumstances you find yourself in.
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