Values stand at the very core of human decision making. Our underlying values determine our behaviours. Coaching based on values therefore sheds light on our underlying motivations and helps us to understand what is important in our lives.
This paper describes the coaching instruments that are part of the Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT)®. The Individual Values Assessment is a self-assessment instrument that compares an individual’s top 10 values (personal values) with the top 10 values they see in their organization (current culture) and the top 10 values they would like to see in their organization (desired culture).
The Leadership Values Assessment is a feedback instrument that compares people’s perception of the values they believe best describe their management/operational style with their colleagues’ perception of their management/operational style. The instrument also compares people’s perception of their strengths, and the behaviours that they believe they need to improve or stop, with the assessors’ perceptions.
These instruments are based on Seven Levels of Consciousness model (Barrett, 1998 and 2006). The model is shown in Table1, together with the principal characteristics of each level of personal consciousness, leadership consciousness and organizational consciousness.
Theoretical background to CTT
The Seven Levels of Consciousness model was created by amalgamating Western and Eastern thinking on human motivations. The model was derived from two primary influences Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and the approach to consciousness described in Vedic science.
|Seven Levels of Consciousness||Personal Consciousness||Leadership Consciousness||Organisational Consciousness|
|7. Service||Leading a life of self-less service to humanity or the planet. At ease with uncertainty. Humility. Compassion. Wisdom.||Focus on ethics, long-term perspective and global issues. Future generations. Human rights. At ease with uncertainty. Humility. Compassion. Wisdom.||Long-term perspective. Future generations. Human rights. Ecological awareness. Service to humanity. Humility. Compassion. Wisdom.|
|6. Making a difference||Actualizing your sense of meaning by making a difference in the world or your community. Caring about the environment. Mentoring. Coaching.||Focus on strategic alliances, collaboration and partnerships. Employee fulfillment. Environmental awareness. Empathy. Mentoring.||Strategic alliances and partnerships. Coaching, mentoring and employee fulfillment. Community involvement. Environmental awareness.|
|5. Internal cohesion||Finding meaning in existence. Passion, commitment, enthusiasm, integrity, honesty, trust, transparency, openness.||Focus on vision, mission and values. Passion, commitment, enthusiasm, integrity, honesty, trust, transparency, openness. Focus on the common good.||Shared vision and shared values. Passion, commitment, enthusiasm, integrity, honesty, trust, transparency, openness. Focus on the common good.|
|4. Transformation||Feeling a sense of independence and freedom by overcoming your survival, relationship and self-esteem fears. Courage, adaptability, accountability.||Focus on empowerment, participation, team building and personal growth. Continuous improvement. Equality. Diversity. Continuous learning.||Continuous improvement. Continuous renewal. Continuous learning. Teamwork. Empowerment. Accountability. Adaptability. Innovation.|
|3. Self-esteem||Feeling a sense of self-worth. Feeling good about who you are. Feeling respected by peers. Feeling a sense of personal pride.||Focus on performance, productivity, efficiency, quality and results. Systems and processes. Goals orientation. Focus on professional development.||Pride in performance. Best practices. Competency. Efficiency, productivity, systems and processes. Professional growth. Excellence. Quality. Expertise.|
|2. Relationship||Feeling a sense of belonging, and friendship. Feeling loved and being part of a family. Open communication. Loyalty.||Focus on customer satisfaction, employee recognition and conflict resolution. Respect. Open communication. Accessible.||Employee and customer satisfaction and loyalty. Sense of camaraderie and fellowship. Open communication. Respect. Tradition, Caring. Supportive.|
|1. Survival||Satisfying your security, safety and physiological needs.||Focus on profit, shareholder value and organizational growth. Employee health and safety.||Pursuit of profit or shareholder value. Employee health and safety.|
Table 1: Barrett model
Abraham Maslow (1968) postulated that healthy motivated people satisfy their needs in a specific order – survival, safety, love/belonging, and self-esteem. Once they have learnt how to master these needs they begin the process of self-actualization: they learn how to become viable independent human beings and begin to focus on fulfilling their innate potential by becoming all they can become. They take on a larger sense of identity where their self-interest becomes enfolded within the common good. They seek to find their personal meaning in life and express this meaning by making a difference in the world and being of service to humanity.
Maslow described the first four layers of his hierarchy of human needs – survival, safety, love/belonging and self-esteem – as ‘deficiency needs’. An individual gains no sense of lasting satisfaction from being able to meet these needs, but feels a sense of anxiety if these needs are not met. The lower the order of a need in the hierarchy, the more an individual will experience anxiety or fear if he or she is not able to meet that need. Thus, the greatest fears we face have to do with survival.
Maslow described self-actualization as ‘growth’ or ‘being’ needs. When these needs are fulfilled they do not go away, they engender deeper levels of motivation and commitment that become more and more potent over time. During times of crisis the lower order ‘deficiency’ needs naturally take precedence over the higher order needs. The lower order needs are instinctual and are shared to varying extents by animals. Only humans possess the higher order needs.
The Seven Levels of Consciousness model was created by:
- shifting from a focus on needs to a focus on consciousness
- re-structuring and re-labeling the hierarchy of needs
- giving more structure to self-actualization by integrating the concepts of Vedic science
Figure 1: Hierarchy of needs to levels of consciousness
Shifting from needs to consciousness
Our needs represent the surface level of our motivations. When we state what we want in order to overcome our deficiency needs or satisfy our growth needs, we are expressing our underlying motivations. Healthy individuals find ways of expressing their motivations openly, without harming or hurting others. They are not anxious or impatient about satisfying their needs.
When people have fears about satisfying their deficiency needs, their subconscious remains focused on that need, even though to all intents and purposes it would appear that the need has been satisfied. For example, there are people who are never satisfied with the amount of money they earn. Even though they may be very rich, they cannot get enough. No matter how many assets they have, they always want more. Such people remain subconsciously focused at the survival level of consciousness, because they are holding on to subconscious beliefs about not having enough.
People who have underlying anxieties or subconscious fears about belonging or being loved subconsciously operate from the relationship level of consciousness. They have such a strong need to experience a feeling of affiliation that they may compromise their own integrity to get their needs meet. This may cause them to be co-dependent because they want to be liked. They may avoid conflict and sometimes use humour to mask their true feelings.
Individuals, who have underlying anxieties or subconscious fears about their performance or ranking in relation to their peers, subconsciously operate from the self-esteem level of consciousness. Their need for power, authority, status or respect is paramount for their well-being. They can never get enough recognition, praise or acknowledgement. They become perfectionists, workaholics and over achievers. They are driven by their need to be recognized.
Re-labeling the lower levels of consciousness
The first two levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (the physiological survival level and the safety level) were brought together in the Seven Levels of Consciousness model into a single category known as survival consciousness, and the level of love/belonging, was renamed relationship consciousness. Thus, there are three levels of human consciousness that precede self-actualization – survival consciousness (survival and safety combined), relationship consciousness (replacing love/belonging) and self-esteem consciousness.
Structuring the higher levels consciousness
The concept of self-actualization was given more definition by integrating the spiritual levels of consciousness described in Vedic science (Alexander and Boyer, 1989). The levels of consciousness described in Vedic science that correspond to self-actualization are known as soul consciousness, cosmic consciousness, God consciousness and unity consciousness. As we progress through each of these levels of consciousness, we feel an increasing sense of connectedness to the world and an expanded sense of identity. We feel a sense of oneness with ourselves, with our family, with our community, with the organization we work for, with our nation, with humanity and the planet, and eventually with the whole of creation. The Seven Levels of Consciousness model is an evolutionary model that corresponds to the seven life themes that are intrinsic to the human condition (see Table 1).
In this section we provide more detail on the seven levels of leadership consciousness that are summarized in Table 1. The characteristics of each level, both healthy and unhealthy, can be used to support the discussions the coach has with the coachee.
Level 1: the crisis director/accountant
Level 1 leaders understand the importance of profit and shareholder returns. They manage their budgets meticulously. They look after the health and safety of employees. They are appropriately cautious in complex situations. They maintain a long-term perspective while dealing with short-term issues and goals. They promote a culture of compliance, but normally will go no further than they have to in satisfying legal regulations. One of the most important attributes of level 1 leaders is their ability to handle crises. When the survival of the organization is threatened, they know how to take control. They are calm in the midst of chaos and decisive in the midst of danger. In such situations, the leader needs to take on the mantle of the authoritarian.
When leaders operate as authoritarians on a regular basis, they quickly lose the trust and commitment of their people. Leaders often use a dictatorial style to get what they want because they find it difficult to relate to people in an open and effective way. They are afraid to let go of the reins of power because they have difficulty trusting others. The greater their existential fears regarding their survival and safety, the more risk-averse they become. Authoritarians can be quick to anger and are unable to discuss emotions.
They bottle up their feelings and hide their true selves behind their position of authority. They are very lonely people. If they have insecurities around money, they will exploit others for their own ends. They are greedy in the midst of plenty and enough is never enough. They focus exclusively on short-term results. Fear-driven authoritarians create unhealthy climates in which to work. They hardly ever relax. They are consumed by their subconscious fears.
Level 2: the relationship manager/communicator
Relationship managers handle conflicts easily and invest a lot of time in building harmonious working relationships. They do not run away or hide from their emotions. They use their relationship skills to handle difficult interpersonal issues and their communication skills to build loyalty with their employees. They deliver good news and bad news to all staff indiscriminately. They believe in open communication. They acknowledge and praise staff for work well done. They are accessible to their employees and not stingy with their time. They are actively involved with customers and give priority to customer satisfaction.
When leaders hold subconscious fears about not belonging, they are afraid to deal with their own or others’ emotions, they avoid conflicts, are less than truthful in their interpersonal communications, and resort to manipulation to get what they want. They either try to mask their true emotions behind humour or protect themselves by blaming others when things go wrong. Relationship managers are often protective of their people, but demand loyalty, discipline and obedience in return. They are often enamoured by tradition and operate as paternalists. Paternalists find it difficult to trust people who are not part of the ‘family’. They are secretive and engage in mafia politics. This lack of trust in outsiders can severely limit the pool of talent that the organization can draw on. Because paternalists demand obedience, they tend to crush the entrepreneurial spirit of employees. Paternalism frequently shows up in family-run businesses.
Level 3: the manager/organizer
Managers bring logic and science to their work by using metrics to manage performance. They build systems and processes that create order and efficiency and enhance productivity. They have strong analytical skills. They think strategically and move quickly to capitalize on opportunities. They are rational in decision making. Inwardly focused managers are good at organizing information and monitoring results. Outwardly focused managers anticipate workflow problems and get things done. They plan and prioritize their work and provide stability and continuity. They create schedules and enjoy being in control. They are focused on their careers and willing to learn new skills if it will help them in their professional growth. They want to learn the latest management techniques so they can strive towards quality and excellence. They want to be successful and they want to be the best. They have a healthy pride in their work.
When managers’ self-esteem needs are driven by subconscious fears, they become hungry for power, authority or recognition. They build empires to display their power. They build bureaucracies and hierarchies to demonstrate their authority. They compete with their colleagues so they can come out on top and gain recognition and self-respect. Their self-esteem is derived externally from others. They will play office politics to get what they want. And they will want to show off. They will want to buy a big house, join the best golf club, or drive the flashiest or most exclusive car. They will be meticulous about their wardrobe. They are often more concerned about how things look rather than how they are. Image is everything. They often derive their self-esteem through their work. Consequently, they tend to work long hours and neglect themselves and their families. They lead unhealthy lives because they are out of balance. They become consumed by their work because they are focused only on achievement.
Level 4: the facilitator/influencer
Facilitators readily seek advice, build consensus and empower their staff. They recognize that they do not have to have all the answers. They give people responsibility and freedom, making them accountable for outcomes and results. They research and develop new ideas and consistently evaluate risks before embarking on new ventures. They resist the temptation to micro-manage the work of their direct reports. They promote participation, equality and diversity. They ignore or remove hierarchy. They are adaptable and flexible. They embrace continuous learning. They actively engage in their own personal development and encourage their staff to participate in programmes that promote personal growth. They are looking to find balance in their lives through personal alignment. Balance leads to perspective and independence, and allows them to become objective about their strengths and weaknesses. They are learning to release their fears so they can move from being outer-directed to being inner-directed. They are in the process of self-actualization. They are on a journey of personal growth. As they let go of the need for outer approval, they begin to discover who they really are. They become enablers of others, encouraging them to express themselves and share their ideas. They encourage innovation and focus on team building. They enjoy challenges and are courageous and fearless in their approach to life. Facilitators are shifting from being a manager to becoming a leader.
Level 5: the integrator/inspirer
Integrator/inspirers are self-actualized individuals who build a vision and mission for the organization that inspires employees and customers alike. They promote a shared set of values and exhibit congruent behaviours that guide decision making throughout the organization. They demonstrate integrity and are living examples of values-based leadership. They walk their talk. They build cohesion and focus by bringing values alignment and mission alignment to the whole company. In so doing, they enhance the company’s capacity for collective action. They foster opportunities for collaboration. By creating an environment of openness, fairness and transparency, they build trust and commitment among their people. The culture they create unleashes enthusiasm, passion and creativity at all levels of the organization. They are more concerned about getting the best result for everyone rather than their own self-interest. They are focused on the common good. They are creative problem solvers. They view problems from a systems perspective, seeing beyond the narrow boundaries of cause and effect. They are honest and truthful and feel confident in handling any situation. This confidence and openness allows them to reclassify problems as opportunities. They clarify priorities by referring to the vision and mission. They display emotional intelligence as well as intellectual intelligence. Integrator/inspirers are good at bringing the best out of people.
Level 6: mentor/partner
Mentor/partners are motivated by the need to make a difference in the world. They are true servant-leaders. They create mutually beneficial partnerships and strategic alliances with other individuals or groups who share the same goals. They collaborate with customers and suppliers to create win–win situations. They recognize the importance of environmental stewardship, and will go beyond the needs of compliance to make their operations environmentally friendly. They display empathy. They care about their people, seeking ways to help employees find personal fulfillment through their work. They create an environment where people can excel. They are active in building a pool of talent for the organization by mentoring and coaching their subordinates. They are intuitive decision makers. They are inclusive. They are on top of their game. They may also be active in the local community, building relationships that create goodwill.
Level 7: wisdom/visionary
Wisdom/visionary leaders are motivated by the need to be of service to the world. Their vision is global and they have a holistic perspective on life. They are focused on the questions ‘How can I help?’ and ‘What can I do?’ They are concerned about the state of the world. They also care about the legacy we are leaving for future generations. They will not compromise long-term outcomes for short-term gains but use their influence to create a better world. They see their own mission and that of their organization from a larger, societal perspective. They are committed to social responsibility. For them, the world is a complex web of interconnectedness, and they know and understand their role. They act with humility and compassion. They are generous in spirit, patient and forgiving in nature. They are at ease with uncertainty and can tolerate ambiguity. They enjoy solitude and can be reclusive and reflective. Level 7 leaders are admired for their wisdom and vision.
The CTT® Assessment Instruments
The key insight that led to the creation of the Cultural Transformation Tools assessment instruments was that every human value/behaviour is motivated by a specific level of consciousness. Thus, if people are able to choose values/behaviours that represent who they are or how they or their organizations operate, the values they choose are a proxy for the levels of consciousness that they or their organizations are operating from. This includes not only positive values such as trust, commitment and open communication but also limiting values such as manipulation, blame and control. The limiting values/behaviours are expressions of unmet deficiency needs and represent fears showing up for the individual or in the organization. In addition to categorizing by level of consciousness, each value can be categorized as:
- either a positive or limiting value (used to calculate a Health Index –P/L)
- an individual, relationship, organizational or societal value (used to calculate a Balance Index – IROS)
- one of six categories of a business needs scorecard focusing on specific business areas – Finance (focus on money), Fitness (focus on systems), Evolution (focus on innovation), Societal Contribution (focus on community), Culture (focus on employees), and Client Relations (focus on customers).
The coach receives three documents for both an Individual Values Assessment, and a Leadership Values Assessment. These are:
- a written report that is given to the coachee
- a visual set of data plots that is given to the coachee
- a confidential report for the coach highlighting the key issues and discussion topics for the coaching session
Individual Values Assessment
The Individual Values Assessment is a web-based instrument that asks three questions:
- Personal values. Which of the following values and behaviours most represent who you are, not who you desire to become? Pick 10.
- Current culture values. Which of the following values and behaviours most represent how your organization currently operates? Pick 10.
- Desired culture values. Which of the following values and behaviours most represent how you would like your organization to operate? Pick 10.
The template of personal values contains about 60 to 80 words or phrases. The template of cultural values (used for the latter two questions) contains about 80 to 100 words or phrases. The template of personal values differs from the template of cultural values in that it does not contain organizational values such as customer satisfaction, profit and empire building. The personal and cultural values templates are customized to reflect the culture of the country and the operating context of the organization.
The Individual Values Assessment written report contains five sections: personal values, current culture values, desired culture values, business needs scorecard and a summary. The Individual Values Assessment data plots show a visual representation of the individual’s personal values, current and desired culture values mapped against the Seven Levels of Consciousness model along with the placement of the current and desired culture values on the six-part business needs scorecard (BNS). An example of the data plots is shown in Figure 2a and an example of the BNS is shown in Figure 2b.
The section on personal values in the written report contains:
- A personality profile based on the individual’s choice of values. This profile enables the coach to identify the most important motivations in the personal life of the coachee.
- A Health Index (P/L) and commentary indicating the relative weight of positive and limiting values chosen by the individual. When limiting values show up in the top-ten list of personal values this is indicative of underlying subconscious fears that can cause dysfunctional behaviours. These are areas for the coach to explore, eg, being-liked.
0 PV/CC Matches
Making a difference
Job security (L)
Short-term focus (L)
Job security (L)
Figure 2a: Values data plots for an IVA
Figure 2b: Business Needs Scorecard plots for an IVA
- A Balance Index (IROS) and commentary indicating the relative weight of individual, relationship and societal values chosen by the individual. A strong focus on individual values shows the individual is self-focused. A significant number of relationship values shows the individual is other-focused. Self-actualized individuals have a healthy balance of the three different types of values.
- An analysis and commentary on the levels of consciousness that the individual is operating from. When the individual’s choice of values are plotted on the seven-levels model, the coach can immediately see a map of the consciousness of the individual. What is important is to note is where the values are clustered, and where there are gaps. Gaps in the lower levels of consciousness are indicative of either mastery or blind spots. Gaps in the higher levels of consciousness are indicative of next levels of growth. A lack of values at the transformation level of consciousness is indicative of an unwillingness or inability to change.
- An analysis of and commentary on the degree of alignment between the personal values and current culture values (number of matching values). This is indicative of the degree to which the individual is able to bring his or her full self to work.
The section on current culture in the written report contains:
- A cultural profile of the organization based on the individual’s choice of current culture values. This profile enables the coach to identify what the coachee considers to be the most important motivations of the organization.
- A Health Index (P/L) and commentary indicating the relative weight of positive and limiting values in the current culture. When limiting values show up in the top-ten list of current culture values, this is indicative of underlying subconscious fears that cause dysfunction and inhibit the performance of the organization.
- A Balance Index (IROS) and commentary indicating the relative weight of individual, relationship, organizational and societal values in the current culture. A strong focus on organizational values shows the organization is internally focused, paying little attention to employee or customer needs. A significant number of relationship values shows the organization is employee or customer focused. A significant number of societal values shows the organization is focused on making a difference in the world.
- An analysis and commentary on the levels of consciousness of the current culture. When the individual’s choice of current culture values are plotted on the seven-levels model the coach can immediately identify the levels of the organization is operating from. What is important is to note is how different this plot of values is from coachee’s personal values.
- An analysis of and commentary on the degree of alignment between the current culture and the desired culture (number of matching values): This indicates the degree to which the individual thinks the organization is on the right track. The low number of matching values indicates a high level of frustration with the organization, especially when there are many limiting values in the current culture.
The section on desired culture in the written report contains:
- A cultural profile of the organization that the individual would like to see, based on the individual’s choice of desired culture values. This profile enables the coach to see what the coachee considers to be the most desired cultural values.
- A Health Index (P/L) and commentary indicating the relative weight of positive and limiting values in the desired culture. Usually all the values chosen by the coachee are positive.
- A Balance Index (IROS) and commentary indicating the relative weight of individual, relationship, organizational and societal values in the desired culture: It is important to compare this Balance Index with the Balance Index of the current culture. Differences indicate important changes the coachee would like to see.
- An analysis of and commentary on the levels of consciousness of the desired culture. When the individual’s choice of desired culture values are plotted on the seven-levels model and compared to the current culture values, the coach can immediately see what changes the coachee would like to see in the organization. The choice of desired culture values is a reaction to what is happening in the current culture and indicates areas of improvement that the coachee would like to see.
- An analysis of and commentary on the degree of alignment between the individual’s personal values and the values of the desired culture (number of matching values). Particular attention should be paid to values in the desired culture that are the same as the coachee’s personal values, especially if these values are not showing up in the current culture. A high number of matching desired culture and personal values (that are not showing up in the current culture) is a measure of the level of frustration of the coachee with the organization.
The section on the business needs scorecard in the written report contains:
- A commentary on the comparison of the current and desired culture values by business category. This commentary highlights the degree of balance between the different areas of business focus and indicates the major shifts that the coachee would like to see between the current and desired culture.
The summary section of the Individual Values Assessment contains:
- A descriptive overview of the personality of the individual, the degree to which he or she is aligned with the current culture of the organization, and the degree to which he or she thinks the organization in on the right track. This provides the coachee with a realistic evaluation of his or her relationship to the organization and the degree to which he or she feels empowered or frustrated by the current culture. The comparison of the distribution of values in the personal, current and desired culture immediately shows to what extent the coachee is aligned with the organization.
An annex to the report provides a description of the Seven Levels of Organizational Consciousness.
The coach’s Confidential Notes for the Individual Values Assessment contain:
- a general set of instructions for the coach for interpreting the results
- specific insights, comments and questions that can be used to direct the coaching session.
The Leadership Values Assessment
The Leadership Values Assessment (LVA) is a web-based feedback assessment. Coachees go online and pick 10 values/behaviours from a template of about 60 to 80 words or phrases that represent their operating/management style. They are then asked to indicate three of their key strengths, three things they want to improve or stop, and what, if anything, they are doing to change.
Each person or leader who is being coached is then assessed, usually by 12–15 or more assessors who go online and pick 10 values/behaviours that they believe represent the leader’s operating/management style. The same values template is used by the leaders and the assessors. In addition, the assessors are asked to identify three of the leader’s strengths, three things they think the leader needs to improve or stop, and any other comments or feedback they want the leader to receive. The assessors are chosen by the leader.
Since organizational transformation starts with the personal transformation of the leaders, this instrument and the coaching that follows the assessment can often be the most powerful of the CTT surveys and the one most able to effect deep and meaningful change. The written report for the Leadership Values Assessment comprises two sections: a detailed comparison of the leader’s and assessors’ responses regarding the leader’s operating/ management style, and the suggested next steps for his or her development.
The data plots for the Leadership Values Assessment shows a visual comparison of the leader’s chosen values and the top 10 values chosen by the assessors’ mapped against the seven levels of leadership consciousness, together with a distribution chart of all the assessors’ values and the leader’s values plotted against the seven levels of leadership consciousness. The distribution chart also shows the level of personal entropy of the leader – the proportion of votes for all limiting values. The level of personal entropy shows the degree to which leaders allow their fears to dominate their decision making. Table 2 shows the implications of different levels of personal entropy.
6% or less
|Prime: Leader’s behaviours are not sourced from his or her subconscious fears.|
|Low: A call for leaders to examine how their behaviours and actions are affecting the people around them, their decision-making processes or their degree of balance.|
|Moderate: An indication that from the assessor’s point of view the leader’s behaviours are counterproductive to what they want to achieve.|
|High: The leader needs to understand how his or her behaviours may be compromising their personal integrity and their ability to achieve their or their organisation’s objectives.|
21% or more
|Very High: The leader is significantly compromising his or her personal integrity and the ability of the organisation to achieve its objectives.|
Table 2: Implications of personal entropy levels
An example of the Leadership Values Assessment data plots is shown in Figure 3.
Leader’s Values 10 Assessors’ Perceptions
Client focus (5)
Shared leadership (4)
Client satisfaction (3)
Making a difference (3)
Figure 3: Leadership Values Assessment data plot
The section on the comparison of the leader’s and assessors’ responses contains:
- The assessors’ evaluation of the leader’s strengths and the leader’s evaluation of his or her own strengths. This provides a picture of what the assessors appreciate about the leader and the degree which the leader understands how he or she is coming across.
- The number of values matches between the values chosen by the leader and the top 10 values chosen by the assessors. Ahigh degree of alignment shows the leader has a strong sense of self-awareness. Such leaders are conscious of who they are. A low degree of alignment shows a lack of self-awareness.
- A comparison of the leader’s and assessors’ distribution of values across the levels of consciousness. This provides accurate feedback on the leader’s operating styles. If the assessors’ and leader’s values are clustered around different levels of consciousness, then the leader does not have an accurate perception of how he or she is coming across. When the assessors’ values are higher than the leader’s values, the leader does not fully appreciate his or her qualities. When the assessor’s values are lower than the leader’s values, the leader is operating with a false sense of reality.
The section on next steps for the leader’s development contains:
- The assessors’ evaluation of the leader’s areas of improvement, the leader’s evaluation of his or her areas of improvement, and the leader’s comments on what they are doing to change. This section provides significant insights for changing or developing the leader’s personal action programme, and a rich area of discussion and interaction with the coach.
- The coach’s confidential notes for the Leadership Values Assessment contain:
- a general set of instructions for the coach for interpreting the results;
- specific insights, comments and questions that can be used to direct the coaching session.
Table 1 provides an overview of the seven levels of leadership consciousness.
Using CTT with coachees
The Individual Values Assessment (IVA) provides significant insights into the alignment of an individual’s personal values with those of the organizational culture they are operating in, and the degree to which the individual believes the organization is on the right track. The example in Figure 1 shows a significant misalignment in values. You will note in Figure 2(a) that the individual has a good spread of personal values from Levels 2 to 6, whereas the organization is strongly focused at Level 1 and Level 4 consciousness.
There are six potentially limiting values in the current culture, showing a significant degree of misalignment. One of the interesting anomalies that could be discussed as part of the feedback of this IVA would be the juxtaposition of the value of ‘consensus’ with the value of ‘control’. The large number of potentially limiting values is an indication of a significant amount of fear in the organization, which comes from the leaders’ operating style. The culture of an organization is always a reflection of the consciousness of the leaders. The individual in this assessment wants to see a major shift in the values of the organization, as shown by the desired culture values. He or she wants to see a shift towards full-spectrum consciousness. The only limiting factor is the individual’s need for job security. Again, we find an anomaly. If in the current culture the organization has ‘financial stability’, why would ‘job security’ be a desired culture value – another rich arena for discussion with the coach.
The business needs scorecard shown in Figure 2(b) indicates regression in the areas of fitness, evolution and culture. The desired culture scorecard indicates that the individual wants to see much more focus on evolution (diversity and innovation) and culture (balance of home and work, employee fulfillment and open communication).
Whereas the IVA is a self-assessment on the degree of alignment of the individual with the culture of his or her organization, the Leadership Values Assessment (LVA) provides external feedback on the individual’s leadership style. The example in Figure 3 shows someone who sees himself as operating from Levels 2 and 4, but comes across to colleagues as operating from Level 5. This can be clearly seen from the distribution diagram. This person does not have an accurate perception of who he is or of his strengths. There are only three matching values between leader’s perception of his operating style and the assessor’s perception – client focus, client satisfaction and teamwork. Even though the assessor’s show only three values at Level 5 and four at Level 2, there were many more votes for Level 5 (31 per cent) values than Level 2 (19 per cent).
The job of the coach in this situation is to help the leader acknowledge his strengths and also understand why the values that he believes he is operating with are not coming across. It is interesting that the leader sees himself as ‘controlling’ whereas this is not coming across to his colleagues. This could be a rich avenue for the coach to explore. Why is this person judging himself so harshly and why does he have a lower opinion of himself than his colleagues do. Is this a self-esteem issue?
It is also interesting to note that there are six relationship values among the values chosen by the assessors – ‘fairness’, ‘respect’, ‘listener’, ‘patience’, ‘shared leadership’ and ‘teamwork’ – whereas the leader gives himself only two relationship values, ‘accessible’ and ‘teamwork’. Why is this person not recognizing his potential as a leader of people? This leader has strong people skills as well as strong business skills, as shown by the values of ‘professionalism’ and ‘experience’. It is time for him to step up into the fullness of his being. The lack of positive values at Level 1 suggests that the leader may not be as focused on the financial aspects of the organization’s business as he should be.
Using CTT with coaches
The Leadership Values Assessment has also been tailored for use by coaches to get feedback from their clients on their coaching style. The assessment process is exactly the same as for the LVA. Coaches go on line and pick 10 values/behaviours from a template of about 60 to 80 words or phrases that represent their coaching style, including positive as well as potentially limiting values. They are then asked to indicate three of their key strengths, three things they want to improve or stop, and what, if anything, they are doing to improve or change. The clients of each coach, usually 12–15 or more, go online and pick 10 values/behaviours that they believe represent the coach’s style. The coach’s clients are then asked to identify three of the coach’s strengths, three things they think the coach needs to improve or stop, and any other comments or feedback they want the coach to receive.
The feedback to the coach is best delivered by another coach who is trained in the CTT approach. The feedback session usually lasts two or three hours. The session begins by affirming the coach’s strengths – what the coachees appreciate about him or her. The coach’s perception of his or her coaching style is then compared with the coachees’ perception of it. The gaps between the coach’s perception and the coachees’ perception are explored to discover areas of alignment and areas of divergence. This is a fertile area for exploration of the coach’s possible blind spots.
Another key area of feedback is the comments made by the coachees on what they consider to be the coach’s areas of improvement or things they think the coach should stop. Again, the areas of alignment and divergence provide a rich arena for discussion and an opportunity to explore potential blind spots. The distribution of the top 10 values chosen by the coachees indicates which levels of consciousness coaches are projecting to the world. This may be different from coaches’ perception of the distribution of their consciousness as indicated by the values that they chose for themselves. Some individuals have a higher perception of their values than do those with whom they interact. Sometimes they have a lower perception. In either case the reasons for the misperception should be explored. The most authentic individuals are those who know their values and project these values out into the world; in their case the distribution of their values and the coachees’ values would be very similar.
Alexander, C and Boyer, R (1989) Seven states of consciousness, Modern Science and Vedic Science, 2 (4), pp 325–364, Department of Psychology, Maharishi International University, Fairfield, Iowa
Barrett, R (1998) Liberating the Corporate Soul: Building a visionary organization, Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston
Barrett, R (2006) Building a Values-Driven Organization: A whole system approach to cultural transformation, Butterworth Heinemann, Boston
Maslow, A (1968) Toward a Psychology of Being, 2nd edn, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York
Barrett Values Centre