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Emotional Needs are the answer!

By Atip Muangsuwan

If you have conflicting values, how can you still make clear and confident decisions?

In my previous article ‘Life Compass’, I mentioned that… “We make decisions based on our topmost values.” If we can get clear on our topmost values and there’re no conflicts among them, that’s when we can make clear decisions with confidence.

However, in some of my clients, when they had conflicts among their topmost values, they would find it very difficult to make clear decisions in their life or business issues.

So, what did I do with this case?

There’s one executive who asked me to coach him on his decision-making dilemma regarding his business issue. In the first coaching session with him, I was working with him on his topmost values in order to use them to help him in his decision making. However, this executive client had the conflicts between his top 2 values. And he couldn’t decide which value to go with for his decision-making dilemma.

In the follow-up coaching session, I helped him explore more deeply than the layer of “values” (referring to Satir iceberg model that I talked about in another article of mine). We went deep down into the layer of “yearnings” or true emotional needs.

We discovered that in this case, his yearning is… “freedom”. He felt that he didn’t get enough freedom since his childhood due to his parents’ way of upbringing or raising him. That’s why he always felt a lack of personal freedom which is his longing “emotional need” to be met.

From the business coaching dilemma turned into life coaching topic, this is evident that business and life matters are truly interconnected.

So, as a professional coach, I have to look at the “holistic view of the who” of my clients and use holistic approach rather than looking only at “the what” which in this case is the business issue of my client.

At the end of the session, we came up with the strategy and action steps that my executive client could work with himself further and in a deeper level.

He would practise calmness meditation and also mindfulness meditation in his daily life. He believed by doing so routinely, he would gain more emotional freedom, feel more relaxed, less stressful, and have his personal space without having to keep relocating to the new countries or new places as he always did in the past!

Therefore, when you have conflicting values, you can still make decisions with clarity and confidence if you can go deeper into your true emotional needs and fulfill them.