Today, we’re going to discuss a highly important topic for succeeding in a constantly evolving world: gaining a better understanding of your needs and values. This understanding serves as a guidepost amidst uncertainty and constant change.
Indeed, what could be more destabilizing than a constantly changing environment, reorganizations, contradictory demands, and ever-shifting priorities?
We can no longer rely on this environment to create a sense of security. Therefore, I invite you to explore another way of grounding yourself and creating reference points through your values and needs. These aspects form a part of your identity that you can control.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Why is it important to identify our values and needs?
Why is it crucial to understand your needs and values on your agile journey?
Understanding your needs and values is like having a compass that guides your progress. The compass shows you the direction. Despite changing weather conditions, if you know how to use your compass, you’ll be able to navigate even when things are constantly changing around you.
By clearly identifying your needs, you’ll also know where to focus your efforts. This will enable you to navigate with confidence, avoiding obstacles and seizing the opportunities that arise. Understanding your true needs will also allow you to communicate much more authentically with others because you’ll clearly know what you lack and what you want to ask for.
As for your values, they guide you and help you make decisions aligned with what truly matters to you.
When you’re in alignment with your values, you experience greater satisfaction, motivation, and contribution.
Therefore, understanding your needs and values on your agile leadership journey is essential for remaining in control of your ship and charting your own course in uncertain and ever-changing circumstances.
By knowing your needs and values, you’ll be able to make informed decisions, adapt quickly, and successfully move towards your goals.
Now, you might say that you don’t know these needs and values or that it’s difficult to identify them. It’s true that it requires some research and practice, but don’t worry! Let’s see how to do it right away!
How to identify your values and needs?
Identifying your values
In essence, values are what truly matter to you and what you embody in your life. For example, respect, integrity, family, independence, and so on are values. There are dozens of values, but we are often driven by a few that prevail over others. You construct these values based on your life experiences, culture, education, and what resonates with you as genuinely important.
Here are several ways to identify them.
I made a video on this topic that you can watch or rewatch. It’s called “My Values, Your Values… Our Values.” You can also download the tool sheet I provide, which includes questions and a list of values to help you find yours. You can find this sheet on my website under the Toolbox section.
If you prefer quizzes, there are websites like personalvalu.es that allow you to list your values in order of importance through a series of questions.
If you prefer to do it with a professional, you can, for example, turn to the Barrett Values Center for an assessment of your individual values. This is a more expensive process and is usually conducted within the framework of a company or coaching.
Identifying your needs
For needs, I’ll introduce you to a tool called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Maslow was a 20th-century American psychologist who studied human motivations. The pyramid commonly attributed to him (although he never presented his research in this format) identifies the different types of needs a human being has, ranging from basic needs like eating and shelter to higher-level needs like self-actualization.
I invite you to take a look at this pyramid and see which needs resonate with you the most. Generally, once our needs at one level are met, we can move on to the next level in the pyramid.
At the bottom of the pyramid, we have physiological needs, followed by safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs (such as trust, respect, and recognition), and finally, self-actualization needs (which encompass problem-solving, creativity, and acceptance).
The technique I like to use for identifying needs, which I want to share with you today, is inspired by Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
It involves using emotions as signals, especially negative emotions, which can indicate that one of our needs is not being met.
By recognizing that we’re experiencing a negative emotion, we can ask ourselves, “What is missing here?” or “What do I need?”
Regularly practicing this exercise will help you identify recurring patterns and consider different strategies to meet those needs.
For example, as an introvert, I sometimes feel anger or anxiety when there’s too much noise around me. In those cases, I identify my anger and ask myself, “Why am I feeling angry?” Because there’s too much noise. So what do I need? Quietness.
As you continue this exercise, you’ll identify patterns that repeat. These patterns represent your most significant needs. Being able to identify them will enable you to communicate them clearly and find strategies to address them in different contexts you may encounter.
Lastly, our values and needs also change over time. Remember to take some time every few years to assess where you stand with them.
As you’ve understood, knowing your needs and values allows you to make better decisions, adapt quickly, and build strong relationships. With this deep self-knowledge, you have a compass to navigate even in times of frequent change.
And as always, nothing beats practice and experimentation to find what works best for you! Consider what resonated with you the most from what I’ve presented today and what you’d like to try right away.
With that, I hope this post has been helpful to you. I’ll see you soon. Until then, take care of yourself!