#4 Values Levels

Today we’re going to talk about the deepest level of the unconscious mind and how that impacts your performance.

If we look at values levels most people have heard of the word values, they know what a value is, but values levels is something different and this comes from the work of the psychologist Clare W. Graves (Clare was actually a man), and these values levels, were about eras in human evolution. So the first values levels are associated with what we call the agricultural era, from 10,000 years ago. Then the next couple of values levels are about the industrial era—so from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. And the top values levels that apply to most of us today are from the information age.

So we’ve got these three eras and underlying them are our human instincts – how we react instinctively. One of the strongest instincts we have is to seek acceptance and avoid rejection. The effect of the interaction between our instincts and our values levels is what causes us not to access the level of potential, the level of performance, that we’re really capable of.

Another level of complexity is that in each era there are both group values and individual values, and depending on things that have happened to us in our life we will gravitate towards more individual values or potentially more towards group values.

We will also have unconscious thoughts which say that we like something or we don’t. We call this ‘towards or away from’. So we now have three eras, and in each era there are group values and individual values and what we are for and what we’re against.

This allows us to build up a fairly comprehensive picture of what our values levels are, whether we’re for or against them and whether we’re more group or more individual.

All of this is being processed by our unconscious mind completely unbeknown to us, but it’s absolutely influencing our performance. My premise is that actually no one’s really looking at this to understand themselves and to work out how much are their thoughts, which are coming from these unconsciously held values levels, helping them achieve what they want and how much are they hindering them from achieving what they want.

So if you find things a struggle or if you feel conflicted maybe one of the things you need to do is do a values levels assessment. It only takes about 45 minutes to do that to get some clarity on what’s really holding you back.

One team had two directors running this really successful business and in their pasts you could see a values level conflict between them because one had a group focus and the other had an individual focus. They had both reacted to similar upbringings but in diametrically opposing ways. This set up a clash at an unconscious level.

They couldn’t understand why their disagreements would go on and on. When we showed them their values levels and how one was towards and one was against it was suddenly clear that their responses to things in their past was setting up this conflict. Once we could bring that conflict to the surface we could work out how to dissolve it and what mechanisms are needed to be put in place to make sure the conflict didn’t come back.

So, if this is something that applies to you, do get in touch.

For more information on the performance equation, get in touch with me.

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