When a value is violated – relationships break down.

Jim Cathcart in his book, The Acorn Principle shared his values profile and stated that we have 7 values that we learn due to our family etc and that knowing someone’s values is the key to understanding them.

Sensitivity – your physical environment i.e. taste, touch, smell, fit, the comfort of a place. I travelled with a friend who had to have complete silence -no ac or lights on.

Empathy – feeling listened to. Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.

Wealth/Money – the ownership and worth of money. Your relationship with money

Power –Being in control or in charge matters a lot; titles and prestigious things are of prime consideration.

Aesthetic – how things look – beauty, balance. Fine pieces of art, noticing the detail in items or things and making decisions based on that.

Commitment Value –Pursuing a cause or mission – passionately, s, i.e. being a Samaritan, doing something to help others

Knowledge Value – A passion and love of learning- reading books learning

I have a high knowledge and empathy value.

For example – a child is taught the habit of saving and the value of money. Another child does not have the same values. They meet later in life and marry. He’s a spendthrift and she’s a saver and they regularly have arguments about money.

Cathcart’s contention is that if you understand these values and their importance to others you can understand how to motivate people.

I’ve used this assessment in workshops and in team assessments when management wants to understand what drives their staff and how to reduce conflict. Here’s a sample of some of the questions:

✳️What qualities do you most admire in a friend?
✳️What characteristics do you most want in a colleague or boss?
✳️What values on the list of seven did you identify with strongest?
✳️ what top values would you say your parents had?
✳️What values do you demonstrate at work? Are they the same ones you would demonstrate outside work?

There are many more questions, as this is not exhaustive, but the answers can be very revealing: You’ll learn:
✳️ Who needs to feel listened to – empathy
✳️ Who relishes power, even without an increase in salary
✳️ Who loves to learn and wants to attend courses

This is not an exact assessment, as there are many other factors to managing effectively, but its simplicity gives a very good insight into what people value and how to motivate them.

I’ve seen the results improve relationships.

If you want to manage people better – learn about their values.

What do you use to assess people in your team?