This is the time of year where we often reflect on our lives and our work to determine if we’re on the right path. One of the important elements that may feel more subliminal than intentional to people is to assess if you are living your life in alignment with your core values. There is no “one size fits all” right set of values for everyone. Each of us is unique and needs to spend time contemplating what is truly important to us.

A commonality among healthcare leaders may be responsibility; feeling that others are counting on you to do things right. Healthcare often attracts people who value service to others. Our values impact how we approach situations, our careers, our lives. Fully living your values means your life is congruent with what you say are your top priorities. Does your calendar reflect what you deem most important? One person who values family may show it by working long hours to provide for the family, while another schedules work around children’s events and sports to be present.

As an executive coach it is essential to get clear on what values my client holds as most important. My goal is to help the client live more harmoniously, to make decisions in alignment with their values, so the first step is understanding what he/she values.

I was coaching a healthcare controller, Melissa * who enjoyed her job and was good at it. She peaked in her organization and we spent time discussing how she could position herself for a promotion to a larger role in the area. As we got clear on her values, two that were very important to her were family and leisure time. Ultimately, she decided to stay put and be content rather than ambitious. Why? Her current job was two miles from home, the miniscule drive meant she could make dinner, spend time with those she loved and enjoy tennis on a regular basis. Adding an extra 8-10 hours a week commuting would have significantly changed her lifestyle. She also realized the promotion would have meant more working hours, less leisure time. Someone who valued learning, growth or adventure might have opted for the new role.

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