The Your Values module helps you understand what is truly important to your clients. Armed with this knowledge, you can define a strategy to use their resources to live their best life.
Your Values takes the client through a deep-dive activity aimed at understanding what they truly value in life and connecting money to meaning. The values exercise will create the guardrails that inform clients' choices at key turning points in their lives.
The first exercise is ‘3 Things'. which focuses on three big life achievements This is to prime them to think about past regrets or future aspirations they may have.
The second exercise is picking, ranking and unpacking the ‘Values cards.’ This will help them articulate what’s most important to living their best life. From this exercise, you can also start creating the next steps for your clients’ priority action list.
Note: the module works for singles as well as couples. If you are working with a couple, extra screens will be added to the flow.
If you’re working with a couple, to best understand them both, we feel it’s important to hear from the less dominant person first. In most couples, there is someone who controls most of the finances - the CFO; and someone who is more passive - the non-CFO. In some couples, each takes responsibility for different parts, or their own finances, but there will mostly be one who is more dominant in the conversation.
As you go through these activities below always encourage the less dominant person to speak first by addressing them by name.
Watch below for a short 5 minutes education on how to use your values:
How to run a values session, step by step
Activity 1: 3 Things...
Note: If this is done with a couple, the less dominant should be invited to speak first. The Lumiant platform will automatically start the conversation with the client flagged as the non-financial spouse in the platform.
Adviser: “The purpose of this exercise is to help you think about past regrets or future aspirations you may have so that we can get ready to turn those thoughts into action.”
Adviser: “Let’s say that today is your 90th birthday. Thinking back across your life as if you were now 90 years old - what are the three things you’d like to be able to say about your life achievements?”
Non-CFO Client: Discusses 3 things
Associate Adviser: During this conversation, the associate adviser takes note of their discussion in the Lumiant Workbook.
Repeat with CFO Client
Activity 2: Picking and Ranking Your Values
Adviser: Leads into the Values module
“The Three Things activity was a precursor to this values discussion and what’s important to you. It’s well established that beyond essential requirements, money and materials can’t necessarily buy happiness. They can create moments of feeling good, but happiness comes from fulfilment across several factors. Those factors fall into 8 dimensions of wellbeing, including emotional, environmental, spiritual, social, intellectual, occupational, physical and financial.
In our session, we will explore 16 different cards representing these dimensions. We kindly ask you to select 5 cards from this set, regardless of their colour or colour combination. Initially, this will be an individual exercise, allowing each of you to choose your own 5 Values. It's important to identify the 5 cards that hold the utmost significance for your fulfilment. Don’t feel obliged to choose a variety - we want just the ones that are most important for you”
Note: The Lumiant platform will guide the module and conversation to always engage the non-CFO first.
Associate: Navigate to Your Values module.
Here is where you might like to introduce some rules to help keep the session on track and help the client have a little fun.
Adviser: We have some simple rules for this exercise designed to ensure you get the most out of it:
- No judgement - You're about to learn a lot about each other and I want you to know this is a safe space to share what's really most important to you.
- No Peeking - Don't feel the need to copy your partner. Your individual thoughts and feelings are most important.
- No interrupting - We want each person to be able to share their opinions. Try to sit and listen to your spouse without interruption.
- Have fun with it - Most of all, it's here for us to have a bit of fun with and learn how we can help you live your best life aligned with your values
Adviser: Addressing the Non-Financial spouse first.
We'd like you to pick 5 of these cards from any colour or colour combination. Pick the statements that are most important to you. We'll discuss them a little bit later.
Captures the non-CFO's top 5 value cards.
Ranking Values Cards
Adviser: Once each client has selected the 5 values most important to them, they are then asked to rank them in order of importance separately.
“We’re going to focus on [non-CFO client name]’s values first. [non-CFO client name], could you please order your 5 cards from the most important to the least.”
Non-CFO Client: Ranks the statements in order.
Associate Adviser: Mirrors the same order using the digital interface
Discussing Values Cards (Non-CFO Partner)
This is where you, as the adviser, will start to question and try to understand what this means to the client. You will be prompted to ask the client 2 questions:
- What… the card means to you
- Why… did you choose that particular card
Particularly with the number one card, you would want to understand out of all the 16 cards, why the client picked and ranked this value first.
Sometimes the client may avoid the question, this is where you can begin to ask why again?
An example of this could be if the client chose ‘spend without guilt'. You can ask ‘how do you feel about the way you normally spend your money?’ or ‘what would your life ideally look like if you could spend without guilt?’.
By rewording the question in different ways, you will further understand your client’s values.
If you still find that you haven't quite got the client's full response another question you might want to follow up with is: What happened in your life or the life of someone you care about that made you pick that card number one?
This is generally where you might get an emotional response and understand and identify what they really value.
You want to take notes in each section and you can also use our Voice text to record the client's responses.
Adviser: Starting with the non-financial spouse, the adviser asks them to share what each card represents. Advisers can use the questions listed in the next section to guide the conversation. It's often the third question that uncovers the deep, true answer.
“Now, let’s see why you chose these cards.”
"Mrs Client, can you please share with us what your most important value is, and what that means to you?... I see that you’ve chosen ‘Nurture My Relationships’ as your top card, what does this mean to you? What relationships do you wish to nurture? Why is this so important to you? What is prohibiting you from doing this currently?”
“The reason we’re doing this exercise is that if we know what’s important to you, we can create informed decisions about your investing. Sometimes it’s more than the money.”
Associate: Takes notes in the free text box provided under the question. As the clients explain why each card is important to them, summarise and record notes in the Lumiant platform. Be specific with the notes, e.g. “Jim and the kids are my priority, I need to make sure Josh can be supported through finishing high school this year”.
Adviser: Draw their attention to one card at a time, from most important to least. For each card, go through the below process to understand what the card means to them and why that’s important for them. The way we do this is by asking why up to 5 times (in different ways, such as “What does that mean?” or “Could you explain that a bit more?”). The ‘5 Whys’ is a root-cause analysis method that generally gets to the real heart of the question.
“What does this card mean to you?”
Associate Adviser: Make a note of what the card means.
Adviser: Why did you choose it?
Why …<reflect back on the answer they just gave>
Why …<reflect back on the answer they just gave>
Why ...<reflect back on the answer they just gave>
Why ...<reflect back the answer they just gave>”
Associate Adviser: Make a note of the real reason it’s important.
Once you understand the 'why', during the conversation, you might notice there are goals that the client would like to achieve that relate to particular Value cards. Capture these by clicking +add quick goal for this value so you can capture this important goal for the client and unpack this a little later.
All: Repeat for all 5 cards
Selecting, Ranking and Discussing Values Cards (CFO client)
Adviser: Now, [CFO Client], let’s have a look at your cards
All: Repeat the process for Values Selection, Ranking and Discussion with the CFO client
Aligning cards (couples only)
The aligning of the cards is where we move from combining the top 10 cards across the household down to the top 5 values for the household.
Adviser: After each client has gone through and shared why the values are important to them, encourage a discussion between the partners to come to a shared set of 5 core values.
“It’s quite common that couples don’t discuss or know what their partner values, so hopefully this has been enlightening for you as well as me.
Now I’d like you to look at the cards, discuss what’s most important to you as a couple, and rank only 5 cards together. Sometimes the same card means different things to people. Sometimes different cards can represent the same thing. So once you’re done ranking these cards, we’ll note what each means to you as a couple.”
Adviser: Continue prompting and asking them to order the cards, and discuss why they are important.
Note: Each card selected by the client will be represented on the left. If both partners have selected the same Value card this will be captured by showing both their initials on the card. This can help to facilitate the conversation.
“Does this card rank higher than the others? Why?”
Note: In the aligning of the card as you get more experienced you will begin to recognise that there are similarities in the reasoning of the cards. This will help to identify if there are perhaps 2 cards chosen that might mean the same thing to the couple.
Adviser: Once both clients are comfortable and happy with their combined list, advisers can move on to asking clients to rate themselves based on these values.
“We want to measure how you are progressing towards truly living your aligned values so that we know how to make your money work in your favour.”
Rate Values Progress
So before diving into the goal setting. As an adviser, you need to ask the client to rate their current progress in relation to their top values.
This marks how they feel they are aligning with their values in daily life. The scale ranges from 1-10, and will ideally rise over time.
The important aspect of the scoring is understanding what things your client is wanting to do to live their values. Understanding where clients feel they sit in terms of their progress will help you to direct the conversation further.
Focus on one Value at a time, from most important to least and ask each member of the household to firstly set a progress score for each value and follow up by asking how this score can be improved by using the below process.
Adviser: To the first member of the household;
“On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is you haven’t started and 10 is you’ve done it, how far along do you think you are with this?”
Client: Nominates a progress rating.
Associate Adviser: Note their progress
Adviser: Direct clients to share ideas for how to progress more towards living out their values.
“What do you need to do to improve that score?
What are some possible areas of improvement?
If you wanted to take that score from a 3 to a 5, what specifically could you do?”
Adviser: “What is stopping you from getting to a 10?”
So for example, if the client has chosen “dedicate more time to those that I care about” then what is your client going to implement to progress and live this value? What are they going to do to go from a 4 to a 6. “What is stopping you from getting to a 10?”
The adviser may need to prompt the conversation and give examples of what other people might do to progress this if the clients are unsure.
E.g. if a client values ‘Master new skills or knowledge', then they may create a goal to learn an instrument. This would require setting aside a certain amount of time and money, and could include a timeframe of one year to perform to friends and family.
Or, the goal may be to achieve a PhD, which would take more upfront investment, but could ultimately lead to a salary increase. All of these factors should be defined and considered when rating their values.
Adviser: Direct clients to share ideas for how to progress more towards living out their values.
Associate Adviser: Note their comments. Use the +add quick goal function to capture goals as these are teased out.
The process is then followed by the other party in the household.
Go through each of the 5 values in turn. Ask for SMART goals that could help improve their progress score - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Associate: Take notes on the discussion in the platform and capture the Quick goals for that value. E.g.
CFO-partner wishes to learn how to play the saxophone, to align with her value of mastering a new skill. Her aim is to perform at the end-of-year concert in 9 months. She will achieve this goal by practising 3 times per week with a tutor, who costs $60 per session.
Note: When you are asking the client "what do you need to do to progress this value", this is where you are teasing out and uncovering their tangible goals and what needs to be put in place to help them progress their values. A great way to capture these goals is by using quick goals. This is where you can add a category title and rate its importance or add any notes to help define the goal.
A good tip here is to record your meeting or use our voice-to-text to capture the client's responses so you can fill in any blanks in your goals later.
Whatever the outcome of the conversation - it is either going to result in a goal or a task.
Prompting the client for details so that the goal is SMART will help you in defining the goals post the values session. You might even ask the client how confident they are in achieving the goal or how important it is to them.
For further guidance on how to run a Values session review our Webinar: Discover your client's values with Lumiant.