NLP Value Elicitation: Unlocking Personal Drivers (Values Worksheet Included)

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) value elicitation is a cornerstone technique used by practitioners to understand and uncover an individual’s core values.


To skip the fluff and jump straight to the values worksheet, click the link below. This worksheet combines various principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT),  and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) presenting them in an approachable, lighthearted manner.


Values serve as personal motivators and influence our decision-making processes and behavior. By eliciting these values, we gain deeper insight into what drives a person and how they perceive their world.

This information is critical in both personal development and professional contexts, aiding in improved communication, goal setting, and alignment of actions with one’s true priorities.

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Value elicitation involves a series of structured questions and observations that guide an individual to articulate their significant values. Worksheets often facilitate this process, enabling a clear structure for reflection and analysis.

These tools help us navigate through our internal landscape to identify values that may be impacting our life choices and behaviors, often unconsciously.

Understanding these values can lead to more fulfilling life decisions and improved interpersonal dynamics, especially when we align our activities with what we truly value.

Key Takeaways

  • Value elicitation reveals the underlying motivators that drive behaviors and decisions.
  • Structured frameworks assist in uncovering one’s core values for personal and professional growth.
  • Aligning actions with revealed values fosters deeper fulfillment and more effective communication.

Fundamentals of NLP

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Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, is a behavioral technology that enables us to understand and modify our patterns of thought, behavior, and communication. It’s essential to grasp the underlying mechanisms of NLP to appreciate its potential for personal transformation.

Understanding NLP

At the heart of NLP lies the recognition that our personal beliefs and values shape the way we interpret the world around us and, crucially, influence our behavior and communication. Central to NLP is the concept of ‘modeling,’ where we identify patterns of excellence in individuals and then replicate these strategies within ourselves or teach others. This approach is rooted in the belief that if one person can achieve a particular result, then it is possible to teach the process to someone else.

History and Evolution of NLP

NLP’s journey began in the 1970s with co-founders Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Their collaboration sought to understand how successful therapists affected transformation in their clients. They studied various therapists, including the renowned Milton H. Erickson, which led to the formation of a unique set of strategies for effective communication and change. Over the years, NLP has evolved, influenced by discoveries in linguistics, neurology, and psychology, cementing its position as an important tool in therapy, education, and business.

Core Concepts in Value Elicitation

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In navigating the terrain of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we uncover the pivotal role of value elicitation in personal development and communication.

Definition of Value Elicitation

Value elicitation is a structured process that helps us discern our client’s core values, those cherished principles guiding their decisions and behavior. It offers a deeper understanding of what drives an individual’s actions and shapes their life experiences. In practice, this involves targeted questioning and observation aimed at revealing the values that underpin beliefs and behaviors.

Principles of Value Elicitation

Our approach to eliciting values is grounded on several fundamental principles. Firstly, it’s important to recognize that core values serve as a compass for an individual’s life direction and decisions. These values are often a reflection of deeply held beliefs and contribute to shaping one’s behavior. We structure our questioning to facilitate clarity and insight into what values are most important, allowing clients to prioritize and align their actions with these values.

We acknowledge that value elicitation can be a catalyst for change and growth, as it allows individuals to align their beliefs with their desired outcomes. A clear identification and understanding of values can lead to more effective decision-making and fulfillment in both personal and professional realms. By working through values elicitation, we can help clients build a framework for continuous self-improvement and authentic living.

The Process of Value Elicitation

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Value elicitation is a fundamental aspect of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) that involves the discovery and organization of a client’s core values. These values often drive their goals and behaviors, shaping their personal and professional lives. It’s a rigorous process that requires careful attention to detail and structured techniques.

Stages of Value Elicitation

The first stage of value elicitation begins with establishing rapport with the client. We ensure there is trust and understanding, setting a comfortable environment for the client to openly discuss their beliefs and values. Next, we identify the context in which values need to be elicited, whether it is personal, professional, or about a specific change they wish to make.

In the second stage, we proceed to gather information using targeted questions. These questions encourage the client to reflect and articulate what is important to them. For us, it’s crucial to listen actively and observe the client’s language patterns and physiological responses, as these provide additional insights into their values.

Finally, the sorting and ranking of these values constitute the third stage. It’s here that we assist the client in prioritizing their values to understand which are most influential in their decision-making process. This order of importance often illuminates conflicts and synergies between values that can either impede or facilitate reaching their goals.

Techniques in NLP Value Elicitation

Various techniques are employed during the value elicitation process to ensure precision and depth. We often use open-ended questions to prompt discovery, such as asking the client what is important to them in the context of the discussed topic. This is coupled with meta-model questioning—a technique to explore and clarify the client’s language—to uncover underlying values that may not be immediately apparent.

Another technique involves the creation of values hierarchies, where we guide clients through a process of comparing and contrasting values to establish a clear priority list. This is particularly crucial when supporting clients through changes or when aligning their values with specific goals.

By utilizing these techniques with rigor, we elicit a clear set of values that act as a roadmap for the client’s personal development or coaching journey. The outcome is a deeper self-awareness and a more strategic approach to achieving desired changes and outcomes.

Application in Personal Development

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In personal development, the use of NLP value elicitation is instrumental in refining our understanding of what drives us and aligning our actions with our core beliefs. It’s a tool that aids us in the pursuit of growth, fulfillment, and improved interpersonal connections.

Achieving Personal Growth

We identify and reassess our core values through NLP value elicitation, which is pivotal for individual growth. It helps us to forge a clearer identity and purpose, shaping our life decisions and directing our actions toward our desired outcomes. By understanding our values, we set goals that resonate deeply with us, facilitating a more authentic and rewarding path to personal achievement.

Improving Well-being and Energy

Value elicitation can significantly enhance our well-being and energy. When we live in alignment with our values, our actions generate a sense of congruence, reducing internal conflict and boosting feelings of self-efficacy. This alignment can lead to improved energy levels, as we’re no longer expending resources on pursuits that don’t match our feelings and emotions. We become more vibrant and engaged with life’s activities when our values guide our daily habits and choices.

Enhancing Relationships

Understanding our values also better equips us to navigate and enhance our relationships—whether with family, friends, or colleagues. By being clear on what matters to us, we communicate more effectively and form bonds with those who share similar values or respect ours. This fosters deeper connections and minimizes conflicts, as our actions and responses in relationships are informed by a strong foundational sense of what we believe and prioritize.

Value Elicitation in Professional Settings

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In the realm of professional development, value elicitation stands as a cornerstone for both coaching and career advancement. By uncovering and aligning with intrinsic values, we ensure a strategic approach to leadership and personal growth within the workplace.

NLP in Coaching and Leadership

Within professional coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) provides us with robust methodologies for discerning a coachee’s core values. These core principles, such as respect, prosperity, or service, direct the way we lead and make decisions. By articulating these values, we can better set goals that resonate with our coachee’s aspirations and foster an environment where these values flourish.

  • Steps to Elicit Values in Coaching:
    • Engage the coachee with open-ended questions to discover their unique value hierarchy.
    • Observe and listen for language cues that indicate what they prioritize in both action and thought.
    • Align coaching objectives with the coachee’s values to enhance motivation and engagement.

Leaders benefit from NLP value elicitation by gaining insight into the driving forces behind their team’s motivation, improving communication, and fostering a workplace culture that’s both enriching and productive.

Career Advancement and Values

For those aspiring to advance their careers, understanding their values is paramount. It equips us with a clear sense of direction and provides a benchmark for making critical career decisions.

  • Impact of Values on Career Progression:
    • Clarify which roles or projects align with our personal principles, thus increasing job satisfaction and effectiveness.
    • Navigating career changes by ensuring new opportunities resonate with our desired lifestyle and professional goals.

Articulating our values clarifies our definition of success, and informs the strategic choices we make along our career path. Through value elicitation, we have a powerful tool at our disposal to ensure that our professional endeavors are in service of our overall aspirations.

Strategic Influence and Communication

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In navigating strategic influence and communication, we place great emphasis on understanding and aligning with core values. Recognizing the power of values not only clarifies goals but also significantly enhances our ability to influence and motivate.

Influencing Others Through Values

Values lie at the heart of influencing the attitudes and behaviors of others. When we communicate, we’re more persuasive if we tailor our words to resonate with an individual’s core values. By identifying and appealing to what is most important to them—whether it’s integrity, innovation, family, or stability—our influence becomes more potent. Feedback plays a crucial role here; it must be constructive and aligned with the person’s values to effectively influence and motivate them.

Effective Communication Strategies

Our communication strategies are pivotal in expressing our message powerfully and clearly. To communicate with impact, we harness the power of language, ensuring that our words are chosen deliberately to connect with the listener’s values and goals. We emphasize active listening to better understand and address the needs and values of our audience. This includes paying attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues, enabling us to give appropriate and impactful feedback. Through these methods, we strengthen our communication skills, augment our influence, and achieve our intended outcomes.

Challenges and Solutions

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In the process of eliciting values through NLP, we frequently face a range of challenges that can impede our progress. Let’s delve into some specific problems and the robust solutions we can apply.

Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles

Through our experience, we’ve identified that a common obstacle in value elicitation is the difficulty individuals have in articulating their core values. This can be a result of a lack of introspection or awareness. To tackle this, we use targeted questioning techniques that probe deeper levels of cognition. For example, asking, “What is most important to you about your professional life?” can shed light on underlying values that govern career choices.

Another challenge is the presence of conflicting values, which may cause indecision or a sense of being stuck. In these cases, we guide individuals to prioritize their values hierarchically, allowing them to make decisions that align more closely with their top values. When changes in values occur, which is often reflective of personal growth, we reassess and realign our strategies accordingly.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Feedback plays a pivotal role in the transformation process. It’s through consistent feedback that we can gauge the effectiveness of our methods and the progress of our clients. We actively listen to the responses given during exercises and adjust our techniques to better facilitate change. This iterative process ensures continuous growth and improvement.

Encountering resistance is part of the journey. While some may show stubborn reluctance to explore their values, we see this as an opportunity for growth. We encourage an open dialogue that views challenges as learning experiences rather than immovable obstacles. By creating a safe space for exploration, we can help guide an individual through their transformation with patience and understanding.

Our commitment is to deliver a clear path to personal and professional development, understanding that both challenges and solutions are vital to achieving lasting change.

Ethics and Sustainability

In value elicitation within NLP, we must carefully acknowledge the impact of ethical considerations and the importance of sustainable practices. These two aspects ensure that the methods we use respect the individual’s identity and align with the broader environmental and societal ethos.

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Ethical Considerations in NLP

Within NLP, ethics govern the way we approach coaching and therapy, ensuring that we respect the client’s values and identity. Noted social psychologist Morris Massey has spoken about the significant stages of value development, emphasizing that change is often a reflection of one’s life experiences. As we elicit values, it’s our responsibility to maintain a stance of neutrality and respect, allowing clients to explore and articulate their values without imposing our own. Ensuring ethical alignment in practice means upholding confidentiality, fostering informed consent, and genuinely recognizing the client’s autonomy.

Sustainable Practices in Value Elicitation

Sustainable practices in value elicitation refer not just to the environment, but to the sustainability of change and improvement in an individual’s life. For us, this includes creating lasting respect for the client’s choices and fostering an environment where changes made during therapy remain pertinent and meaningful outside the session. As we coach and support through NLP, our aim is always to empower clients to carry forward the values and changes they identify as integral to their identity, helping to reinforce these changes in a sustainable and self-validated manner.

Advanced Topics in NLP

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In our exploration of NLP’s more refined concepts, we’re delving into how values are structured and influenced within an individual’s belief system. We’ll specifically discuss the Logical Levels model and the intricate relationship between values and beliefs.

Logical Levels and Value Systems

Within NLP, Logical Levels are a significant model developed by Robert Dilts. This hierarchy illustrates how different aspects of our experience are organized, from environment and behaviors at the bottom, climbing to skills, beliefs, and values, and peaking with identity and spirit. When we talk about values, they reside in the middle of this structure, acting as the driving force behind our attitudes and behaviors. They are essential components in shaping our identity; they signpost what is important to us and influence the oughts and shoulds that guide our decision-making.

The Interlinked Structure of Values and Beliefs

Our beliefs support our values, creating an interlinked system where one influences the other. It’s this interconnection that often dictates how we perceive and interact with the world. Beliefs are convictions we hold as true, while values are the desirable qualities we strive towards. For instance, if we believe that honesty is a fundamental component of trust (a belief), we may value transparency and openness in our interactions (values). This combination influences not only our choices but also our sense of identity and ultimately our spirit, as it resonates with the core of who we are. Understanding this structure can help us clarify why we do what we do and how we can bring about change at a foundational level.

Frequently Asked Questions

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In this section, we’ll explore key techniques and insights about value elicitation within neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Through these FAQs, we provide clarity on how NLP practitioners can uncover and work with an individual’s values for effective personal development.

How can one effectively identify personal values through NLP techniques?

To effectively identify personal values through NLP, we engage in a process called values elicitation, often by asking targeted questions and guiding clients through reflective exercises. This allows us to uncover the core values that drive their behavior and decision-making.

What are some common methods for value elicitation in the context of neuro-linguistic programming?

Some common methods for value elicitation include asking open-ended questions, the use of metaphors and storytelling, or constructing a hierarchy of values through client interviews. Each method serves to reveal the underlying values influencing an individual’s decisions and actions.

Why is it important to understand an individual’s values when practicing NLP?

Understanding an individual’s values is crucial when practicing NLP because values act as motivational ‘hot buttons’ that influence priorities and behaviors. Recognizing these values allows us to tailor our approach to align with the client’s intrinsic motivations and facilitate meaningful change.

What role does value elicitation play in personal development and goal setting within NLP?

Value elicitation is integral to personal development and goal setting within NLP as it helps identify what truly matters to the client. By aligning goals with core values, we enhance motivation and commitment, increasing the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes.

Can you provide an example of how to use a values worksheet in an NLP setting?

Certainly, a values worksheet can be used in an NLP setting to list potential values, which the client then ranks in order of personal importance. This structured approach helps clients reflect on and prioritize their values, providing clear direction for tailored NLP interventions. Values Elicitation – Centred Excellence offers a practical example.

How does the calibration of values after elicitation affect the outcome of NLP interventions?

Calibrating values after elicitation involves assessing if the elicited values are in line with the client’s desired outcomes and behavior patterns. We adjust the NLP interventions based on this calibration to ensure that the techniques employed are congruent with the client’s core values, thereby optimizing the effectiveness of the interventions.