A client has approached you with a frequent query: “How will altering my values help me achieve more in my life?” As the coach, how would you assist this client? LCI’s Master Coach Terry Neal answers…

If your client has asked this question, you should initially check on a few areas. Does your client know what their values actually are? If they do, then you could ask what’s behind the desire to alter them.

Is it from a belief that simply changing them and creating a new list or amended list of positive values (that may include recommendations from others) will produce great changes in their lives?

Or is there a genuine desire to re-examine if how they’re living their life and interacting with others at present is in alignment with their own deepest held values?

So the motivation for change for those clients who may already have a good idea of their values needs to be addressed first. Once the motivation has been talked about it might be necessary to assist your client to determine what their values are, if they don’t have a clear idea already.

There are a number of exercises and activities that you could use to help your client create an initial list that could be further modified over time or to modify what they hold to be their personal values at this stage.

The second part of the question is just as important to consider and assist them to look at as the actual set of values. Your client may tell you that they know what they want to achieve in their life but want to achieve more.

The question is: More of what? Is it what they’re doing already or do they have a feeling of something deeper, an unknown expression of themselves that they would like to acknowledge and do?

At this point you, as their coach, having helped them determine either their first or amended set of values, will need to suggest that a change in values could also mean a change in what they’re doing in their life.

Changing or determining their values could cause a change in what or how they currently do what they do in a small or perhaps even a large way.

Therefore, if your client is happy with what they are currently doing and with the knowledge of their new list of values, you could begin to support them to set new goals in this area. For this you could simply use the GROW Model with your client.

Extract: The GROW Model

The GROW Model is an effective technique which can be used to structure a coaching session. This technique can also be shared with business people to help them structure a business meeting or for people who work with committees. The letters GROW form the acronym for:

Wrap up/Way forward

The following provides further details about each stage of the GROW Model:

  1. Set goals and write them down
  2. Establish what the client wants out of the session
  3. Agree on the topic for discussion
  4. Agree on specific objectives for the session
  5. Set a long-term aim if this is appropriate


  1. Let the client tell their story
  2. Invite self assessment
  3. Ask the client questions such as:
  4. What’s happening?
  5. When does this happen?
  6. What effect does it have?
  7. Offer specific examples of feedback
  8. Avoid or check assumptions
  9. Discard irrelevant history 


  1. Brainstorm options
  2. Ask for ideas – don’t tell
  3. Empower
  4. Ensure choices are made
  5. Invite suggestions from client
  6. Offer suggestions carefully


  1. Identify specific steps and any obstacles
  2. Write action plans on a time frame
  3. Look at the way forward
  4. Get a commitment to act
  5. Identify possible obstacles
  6. Agree on what support will be given

However if you’ve become aware from what your client has said  that they want to achieve more in their life but not in the way that they are currently living or working, you could suggest to them to create a Life Purpose Statement.

Click here for more information on a Life Purpose Statement.

So by the end of this session your client may have a life purpose statement and a list of their own personally held values.

Encourage them to spend some quiet time noting thoughts and ideas that arise while considering both the completed activities from their time with you, their values and Life Purpose Statement.

Then the next step of “bringing them into existence” can begin!!