Using the VBL Flow Charts

by Kelly Patrick Gerling, Ph.D. © 2000-2007
Published in The Spinal Column, Nelson-Marlborough Health Services, Nelson New Zealand, December, 1999

To view the flow charts, go to the menus on the left side frame of the Client Area opening page:

- VBL Flow Chart Graphical Menu One
- VBL Flow Chart Graphical Menu Two

Within each of us is a set of values that guide our actions. They are what is most important to us. These values motivate us to do what we do. They are the intended benefits of the goals we strive towards. We become aware of them primarily in two ways: when they are fulfilled and when they are violated.

When our values are fulfilled, we experience them as positive feelings—the happiness and contentment of feeling trusted or respected, inspired by excellence or service, or moved by acts of love or compassion.

When our values are violated, we experience them as painful feelings—the stress of feeling distrusted or disrespected, deflated by bad quality or poor service, or devastated by acts of betrayal or insensitivity.

Life gives us both fulfilled values and violated values, whether at work or home. When our values are fulfilled, it is natural to be at our best, leading by example, bringing about change, supporting others, and achieving goals. So the more we bring about situations and engage in relationships that fulfill values, the more we will enjoy life and be productive.

Violated values cause pain and pain can bring out our worst, most damaging behaviours. The pain of violated values upsets us and rips the fabric of our customary, familiar state of mind. When in pain we tend to behave in characteristic ways to defend ourselves or remedy the situation back to a fulfillment of our values.

The trouble with the initial behavioural reactions to violated values is this—the way we behave prior to healing our pain typically violates the values of others. When betrayed we may blame, label negatively or avoid. When service is bad or others perform poorly we may whine or make cutting, sarcastic remarks. These behaviours hurt others, making them victims of our actions. Their subsequent reactions come back to hurt us further, making us victims of their actions and, over time, our own actions too. This pattern of damaging behaviours is a victim cycle. A Chinese saying comes to mind, "The person who seeks revenge should dig two graves."

Key to effective leadership in organisations is preventing ourselves from initiating such victim cycles as well as helping to stop them when we encounter them. From office gossip to major world wars, the victim cycle itself is the cause.

This flow charts describe what to do as we go through our work day to be an effective values-based leader.

The Values-Based Leadership Flow Charts are a picture that portrays strategies for leading with values and restoring values based leadership when our values are violated.

These flow charts describe what to do as we go through our work day to be an effective values based leader. The charts are intended to be as simple as is practical, but no simpler.

I hope these graphical menus provide you with strategies that will help you better fulfill your values while developing as a leader through making a positive difference in the organisation.

The Values Based Leadership Flow Charts pinpoint the following choices:

Be loyal to what is most important to you. Effective leaders are aware of their values and do what it takes to bring them out in themselves and in others. Use the Values Based Leadership Flow Charts to help you do that.

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