First of all, nothing wrong with listing money as a value (you might, of course, call it “affluence” or “prosperity” or something slightly more refined-sounding, that’s OK). And your old friends might bristle, and your colleagues might cheer, and that’s OK too.
Money is an interesting one, I am always excited when that comes up in a coaching conversation. Why is that:
- Money in our society is often a shortcut to represent success (but is it really?)
- Money can be a bit of a taboo, which means if people trust you enough to talk about it, you get to talk about stuff that really matters
- Money is very rarely a thing in and of itself as a value. It usually represents something deeper, and what that is is very individual (again, makes for really good substantial conversations about things people actually care about).
What does money represent:
For person A, it might be security. Comfort. Space. No middle seat on the plane, and nice hotels in good parts of town where you don’t have to sit on the bed to open the door.
For person B, it might be love and connection with other humans (there, I’ve said it). Being able to visit people you care about on a short notice no matter how far, being able to help a relative, a sister, a friend in a much better way. Making other’s dreams come true.
For person C, it might be quality and craftsmanship. The bespoke suit, the shoes. Hand-stitched. The touch. Archaic-seeming traditions of craftsmanship handed down over centuries. The respect and appreciation this commands.
For person D, it might be freedom. Saying no. Doing your own thing in your way. Starting that venture. Making art. Travel. Learning Italian in Italy. Learning Salsa in Cuba. Surf shop sunsets.
So, if money ranks high on your list of values:
1) Embrace it loud and clear
2) ask yourself, what it means for you and your life. What does it give you, what side of you does it allow to flourish. To maximize that, think about all the options you have to make these aspects bigger. Money might be a good start, but there is likely more you can do to add some more “zing”.
What does money represent for you?