Last week I gave a workshop on the expat family to the parents of the British School of Bucharest. Part of the programme included the coaching game I learned to use with the certification of Coaching by Values. I am very happy with the success it has had.
I practice Linguistic Empathy and I expect you to do the same. Please bear with me if my English is not perfect.
I’ve always liked to talk about values with my coaching clients. In my online courses to build a portable career, the session on values always comes first. This is because I know – for having worked and listened to dozens of expats over the years – that nothing can be built if there is no harmony with one’s values.
“Values make you emotional,” said the talented trainer Paola Valeri during the first day of the certification. It is true, and I saw it again using the game during the workshop I mentioned above.
Playing with values means first of all getting closer to yourself. In a relaxed and fun way (because the little lion that represents the values on the game cards always makes you smile), you find yourself delicately reflecting on fundamentally important issues. And you do it by relating to a group of people, and in a protected and supervised environment (by me).
When reflection on oneself is accomplished through play, it becomes much easier to understand what moves others. The others can be, depending on the reason why the game is used, members of a different culture, parents and teachers of a new school, a social group to which you belong, or even your own family. There are no limits to the application of the game on values because talking about values is always beneficial. It reconnects us with things we usually do automatically; it helps us clarify our feelings; it helps us understand why sometimes – despite everything points in a different direction – we persist in choosing a certain path.
It also helps us, however, and above all, to understand the reality around us. To understand why we position ourselves in a specific way towards the environment around us. Talking about values is a super effective way of interpreting anything that is important to us: a new country, the behavior of colleagues, our uneasiness in an unusual situation, or the mood of our daughters upon returning from school.
It is also the moment when we stop and reflect on our choices, on the degree of satisfaction we experience in all spheres of our life, and on the relationship with our host country. We can do it by getting deeply involved or staying on the surface, but playing with the little lions always leads to some nice discoveries.