Teens resonate with values more as in what speaks to them or what characterizes them. They understand values as part of their personality. This is interesting as when I speak to adults, values are more beliefs or how they would act in certain situations. As we get older, we have formed our values from experience. When coaching, I ask teens to select values from a list of 100 and to narrow it down to the top 10. Then we group them in 3 groups, according to themes and commonality. Each group receives a name and each name is followed by a mantra, a code of ethics.
When we set goals with teens, we measure them against their value system. If they don’t match up to their value system, we try to align them. For example, if a goal is to do well in school, we investigate which value that aligns with; does it fall under “motivated,” or does it fall under “committed”? This might seem pretty intuitive to an adult, but when teens are starting to form their value system, they most often mimic or say what adults want to hear. Doing this personal work with teens, it reveals how they are shaped and gives them a chance to use examples and find their voice. Having conversations and using visualization helps them solidify their value system.