What’s on your list of CORE VALUES? One that I often see on the lists of individuals and organizations is respect. And I’m always interested to see how that value shows up in people’s behavior and in an organization’s culture and practices.

Respect is one of those words that is subject to many meanings and interpretations. For some it’s about being polite and using what our parents taught us to be good manners. For others, respect means being obedient and following rules. And yet, respect goes far beyond the level of courtesy and compliance. In fact, one of the dictionary definitions points to respect as a deep admiration for others elicited by their abilities or achievements.

If respect is truly to be embedded in our actions and our culture, maybe we need to reach beyond this concept of ‘earned’ esteem and move toward a level of respect that speaks to human dignity and innate respect-worthiness. Rather than having to prove ourselves in order to be respected, we can be appreciated and accepted for who we are with our own unique combination of strengths and talents.

So what might be some signs of respect in an organization? Perhaps people are recognized for their qualities, not just the tasks they accomplish. People truly appreciate each other and rather than complain about each other, they acknowledge each other. Conflict is expressed in a way that doesn’t diminish others. Intrinsic motivation is nurtured and morale runs high.

Respect is a truly foundational value and one well worth cultivating within oneself as well as in relationships, families, organizations, and communities. Respect helps us embrace diversity and see the advantages of differences. Respect helps us build solutions that are beneficial to all. And respect lays the groundwork for many other values to grow and flourish.

What is your definition of respect and how does it show up in your thoughts, decisions and actions?

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VALUES DECK is now available on Amazon!

Exciting news! The award-winning VALUES DECK is now available on Amazon. Click here to check it out! I’m happy that more people will now be able to find and use the cards to live more fully into their values. I am imagining a huge positive impact over time….

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Tuning in to Your Values

Do you recognize the ‘voice’ of your values? You might hear it in thoughts like:

  • “It’s not fair!”
  • “I wish I was spending more time with my family.”
  • “I don’t trust him.”

Our values are part of who we are and they express themselves in many ways. When you catch yourself thinking a thought that at first blush might seem judgmental or critical, take a step back and listen. It might just be your values letting you know they are alive and well. It’s not so much about the other person or the situation, it’s really about you and the values that are strong in you.

Values are a sort of internal radar system, tracking with us throughout the day, beaming messages about what we see, hear and do. When we practice tuning in and listening, we get to really know our values and align ourselves with them more fully. But for most of us, it takes work to cultivate this kind of awareness. It’s not exactly something we learned in school.

Exercise: To start tuning in, reflect back over some recent events, conversations, or situations. What were some things you really liked? What felt important about those things? Maybe you appreciated someone’s thoughtfulness or integrity. Then you can connect the dots – are those things related to some of your values?

You can do the same thing for events, conversations, or situations that feel off or negative to you. What is it that doesn’t work for you? Which of your values is being compromised? Again, connect the dots and let that inner radar system lead you to your values.

What’s great about tuning into values is that you become more aware of them and you can make choices that respect and honor them. Try it! It’s a great way to live.

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Values Deck wins award

Exciting news: the VALUES DECK won the Coaching Toys 2013 “Big Life Big Action” Product AwardThank you to everyone who voted! It was a complete surprise and I am honored.

Besides being recognized as the best product in its category, the VALUES DECK will get featured in Choice Magazine (the magazine of professional coaching) and will also be highlighted on the online Coaching Toys Store featured product page. Stay tuned for more news about this award…

Thanks again to those of you who voted. You have recognized an important piece of my legacy. I am committed to helping people understand and live more fully into their values. As a coach, I see the impact on my clients as they spend time recognizing and strengthening their values. It is absolutely one of the most powerful catalysts for change. It inspires me every day and I want more people to have the experience of working with their values. The VALUES DECK makes it easy and fun. Perhaps the award will draw more people to benefit from this important work!

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Let Freedom Ring!

United States FlagFreedom is a value shared by Americans and fought for by many of our young men and women in the armed forces. Freedom gave birth to our country and it continues to be a major theme that is still evolving our culture today.

Dictionary definitions start out by referring to freedom as a power, a quality, a state of being or a right. They go on to describe it in terms of the absence of, independence from, exempt, released or liberated from, not subjected to or imprisoned or enslaved. And finally, we hear about the opposing forces of restriction, restraint, hindrance, coercion, domination, something onerous, despotic and tyrannical.

And yet, dictionary definitions are not enough. Americans have defined and re-defined the meaning of freedom again and again throughout the last two hundred plus years. Each time we think we know and understand what freedom means, we are challenged with a new application, another impassioned battle of the human spirit against oppression, a new contest of rights, or a cry for equality.

We the people… each one of us has our own personal definition of freedom. We all contribute to the meaning of freedom in America. Freedom is and always has been one of our core values. How are we building a culture of freedom right now in 2013? How are we balancing respect for our own freedom with that of others? What is our understanding of the freedom that our soldiers are fighting and dying for in Afghanistan? How deeply rooted is the value of freedom in each of our hearts?

Memorial Day is a great time for reflection, for honoring those who have given their lives for the American value of freedom. I urge you to take it personally. Spend some time cultivating and expanding your own personal freedom. What is an inner oppressor that you would like to be free from? Perhaps it is self-criticism, un-worthiness, or fear of failure. Maybe inner tyranny shows up in the form of worry, arrogance or being the pleaser. Is your inner freedom worth fighting for? What is one thing you can do right now to take a stand for greater freedom within yourself?

When we strengthen our own values, everyone benefits. Let’s grow our freedom at home while our troops are fighting for it abroad. Let’s continue to evolve the American definition of freedom and our corresponding culture of respect, compassion and good citizenship. This is what has and will always continue to make us leaders in our global community.

Happy Memorial Day!!!

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One of my signature values is resilience. It is a vital leadership competency that contributes to success on every level. Leaders face tough challenges on a regular basis and I find that those who are most effective have developed at tremendous capacity for resilience. Resilience keeps us open to quick course-correction. It drives us to look for the learning that will facilitate needed change.

Resilience is at the heart of the spirit of champions. We have all been moved by stories of great athletes who have overcome fierce odds to reach for goals that seem impossible. They know that things will not always go as planned or practiced. They stay in the moment and recover from the unexpected. They respond rather than react. They feel the pain and then move on. Resilience shapes our experience of facing difficulties and has an inspiring, positive impact on those around us. It builds character and strength.

How can resilience be cultivated? Where does it come from and how can we grow this quality in ourselves and others? Is it something we’re born with or can it be learned? I’m always happy when I hear these kinds of questions from my clients. It means they are expanding their awareness. They are inviting change and growth and that’s where it all starts.

I encourage leaders to reflect on how they handle challenging situations, to examine their responses, reactions and resolutions. That’s where we discover the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs could be interfering with resilience. We unpack anything that is holding them back and experiment with everything that creates resilience. We tap into things like acknowledging defeat without defeating motivation or the spirit of determination. We get honest about what’s working and what’s not working. We defer blame and take responsibility. We explore options and strategize new possibilities. We leverage strengths and get back into action.

Resilience is a gift to be opened and respected. It is a great partner for those who want to make the most of every moment in life and in leadership.

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Where to Find Values

Values are always expressing themselves, always there, underpinning our beliefs and driving our behavior. In fact, values are part of the fabric of our lives, shaping character, decision-making, and the dynamics of our relationships.

Recognizing, working with, and living more fully into your values contributes to a more mature, satisfying experience of life, in both the professional and personal arenas. Few things are more important than our values. And yet, we spend very little time getting to know and understand them.

Sometimes we learn to appreciate what we have when it’s not there. Values are no exception. When we find ourselves in a situation where our values are not free to be part of the picture, we feel that something is off and that is a great opportunity to look for and become more aware of our values. Try it next time you sense that something is missing-it might be one of your values!

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Values are qualities of intrinsic worth…

“Values are qualities of intrinsic worth that, when recognized and respected, improve a person’s quality of life.”    

-Margie S. Heiler

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Hello World!

Hi. This is Margie. I hope you enjoy the blog. Please don’t hesitate to send me your thoughts. I love to hear from people who are using the Values Deck and to learn how using the cards has made a positive impact.

Of course, I welcome any questions,  suggestions or new ideas for working with values.

Thanks for visiting!

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