In the March and April issues, we discussed how values clarification can help you get more of what you want from your practice. To continue the process of clarifying the economic and psychological values associated with work, consider the following.
The chart on this page is similar to one used in workshops put on by Sidney Simon, Ed.D., author of numerous books focusing on values clarification.
In the April article, you were asked to rank in order of importance to you the major categories of work-related values (money, stimulation/excitement, respect/affection and service to others).
Now, take the column under money, and rank-order the following money-related values from one to four, with one being the most important:
- Standard of living: includes your home, vacations, country club, automobiles and lifestyle in general.
- To give to others: includes college for your children; luxuries for members of your family, parents, grandparents, grandchildren; gifts to charity.
- Financial independence: so you don’t “have” to do anything you don’t want to do (e.g.-evening hours, managed-care participation, etc.).
- Economic security: for your old age; medical emergencies; retirement or pension plan.
Are you surprised by the way you rank-ordered these money-related values? Are they in tune with what you’re doing? If not, that conflict could explain the “looking good – but feeling bad” syndrome mentioned in the March column.
The next column is stimulation/excitement. Again, rank the following values from one to four:
- Challenge: includes the satisfaction of breaking new ground; experiencing personal growth; the feeling that Simon describes as “being at the cutting edge of newness.”
- To be part of a team project: includes the opportunity of sharing, learning, consulting with other doctors; achieving practice goals through collaborative efforts (e.g.-group practice, multi-discipline practice).
- Opportunities to use special abilities or aptitudes: (e.g.-specialty practice).
- Variety: includes the opportunity to do many different things, such as personal injury cases, industrial consulting, sports chiropractic, health-care classes, orthotics, etc.
The next column is intended to help clarify whose respect/affection (other than your own) is most important to you. Again, rank from one to four, with one being the most important:
- Colleagues: either your associates in practice or your professional peers in general.
- Family and friends.
The last column is service to others, or as Simon more creatively phrased it: “To leave a thumb print on the world.” By this, he meant a chance to leave the world a little better than you found it, an apt description of the impact his values clarification work has had on the fields of education and psychology.
How important is this kind of impact for you? And in what ways is it most important to have that impact:
- Individuals: one-on-one patient care.
- Groups: teaching/helping students, other chiropractors, educating the general public.
- Associations: participation in community organizations and professional associations.
- Create product with long shelf life: this can be any kind of product from a book to an innovation in rehabilitation equipment to a new injury-prevention program.
It’s important to recognize that your current values may be quite different than those you had five years ago — or from those you will have five years from now. This variation reflects your growth and what’s called “value development.”
Ideally, an analysis of these work-related values should reinforce the satisfaction you’re now getting from practice. At the very least, it’s hoped you’ll end up with some ideas on how your practice can be changed to help you get more of what you want from it.