Connection Roadmap- One simple activity to focus your time and energy.


I’ve been using this exercise with my clients since I was in graduate school. The first way we did this was to print out a huge stack of cards with different values on them (with several blanks to add your own) and then we created 3 piles.

Pile 1: Not my value This stack are all of those values that are soooo not important. For me, being famous, details, and predictability landed here.

Pile 2: Maybe my value This stack is full of those that maybe you wish were values but you never act on them or things that are sometimes important but also sometimes aren’t.  This stack had values like, decisiveness, entertainment and order.

Pile 3: Definitely my value This is the stack that tells you what’s important to hold on to and increase connection with.  For many of us, this will be the biggest group- because we want to value everything that sounds “good”. My stack had 79 values… things like generosity, groundedness, impact, acceptance, mastery, quality, playfulness and on and on.

This is where the next step is really important.  If you have 79 REALLY important values, then the exercise is not very helpful in sorting out where to prune and where to connect.  So, the final part of establishing your values is to rank your top 10.

Top 10 pile: This becomes your connection roadmap.  Like the mission and vision statements for your company, you can test new ideas and complex decisions against your top 10.  For example, if you can’t decide to attend your best friend’s wedding or stay home and manage your company’s biggest prospective client yet.  You might ask where does ambition rank against friendship?

My values change depending on what’s happening in my life.  For example, I’ve just become an accidental dog mom.  Before now, “nurturing” was a bit lower on my list and now it out ranks fairness.

Just so you know- here’s my latest top 10.  Love to see yours as well!  Reply here or on our social media to tell us yours.

1. Creativity
2. Engaged
3. Ambition
4. Imagination
5. Integrity
6. Freedom
7. Acceptance
8. Generosity
9. Playfulness
10. Authentic

Knowing your values is important for understanding why you might keep making the same types of decisions over and over or if you are driven towards success, impact, or service.  In the sheet included here, there’s an option to rank the values of your company as well.

When we work with teams, we often encourage each member of the company to rank the values they see expressed by the company and compare.  This is a quick way to understand how your espoused culture is- or might be- different from your actual culture.

Once you have your list- start to notice when these values come in conflict with each other- when a value you think you hold continually loses to one you thought you didn’t care about. Use this as your roadmap for self discovery and as your guide for simplifying into a life where you continually say yes and invest in your values.

ps: this is a great exercise to do with a partner or spouse. Sit side by side and rank your values- then rank what you think might be the other’s top 10 values. Where you differ in values might help explain where you come in conflict or find yourselves in disharmony.

Want to explore your values with an expert? Not sure how to turn insight into action? Reach out.

Use our Value Sort Spreadsheet to do this exercise for you or your company!