The ultimate way to use values is to integrate them with metaprograms in order to motivate and understand ourselves and others. Values are the ultimate filter. Metaprograms are the operative patterns that guide most of our perceptions and thus our behaviors. If you know how to use the two together, you can develop the most precise motivational patterns.
A young man who was working was so irresponsible he drove his parents crazy. His problem was that he lived completely in the moment, without any consideration for the consequences. If some things came along that kept him out all night, he didn’t mean to be irresponsible. But he responded to the things that were directly in front of him (the things he was moving toward) rather than to the consequences of his actions (things he should move away from).
When met, this young man and talked with him and elicited his metaprograms. We learned he moved toward things and acted from necessity. Then we began to elicit his values. It turned out his three highest values were security, happiness, and trust. Those were the main things he needed in life.
So our team member X established rapport by matching and mirroring him. Then, in a totally congruent way, X began to explain how his behaviors were undermining all the things he placed the highest value on. He had just come home after being away for two full days without permission from or communication with his desperately upset parents. X told him that they were losing all patience and that his behavior was going to undermine all the security, happiness, and trust the family was providing for him. If he kept it up, he was going to be in a place with no security, no happiness, and no trust. That could be jail. It could be reform school. It was told to him that if he wasn’t responsible enough to live at home his parents would have to send him someplace where someone else would be responsible for him.
So X gave him something to move away from, something that was the antithesis of his values. Most people, even if they normally move toward, will move away from losing a key value. Next he was given the upbeat alternative, something to move toward. X gave him specific tasks that would serve as an evidence procedure for his parents to use to determine their ability to continue supporting the values of security, happiness, and trust that were so important to him. He was to be at home every night by ten pm. He was to have a job within seven days. He was to do his duties at home every day. X told him that we would review his progress in sixty days, and if he kept his agreements, his parents’ trust level would expand and so would their support of his personal happiness and security. X made it clear to him that these were necessities, things he had to move toward right now. If he broke his agreement once, it would be viewed as a learning experience. If he broke his agreement a third time, he’d be gone.
What X did was give him things to move toward right away in order to maintain and increase his enjoyment of the things he valued. In the past, he just hadn’t had the right things to move toward that supported his relationship with his parents. X also made it clear that these changes were totally necessary and gave him a very specific evidence procedure to follow. When last heard from, he was still behaving like a model kid. His values and metaprograms together provided the ultimate motivating tools. X had given him a way to create for himself the security, happiness, and trust he needed.
One can think you can see just how explosive values are and how valuable they can be as tools for change. In the past, your values have operated almost entirely at the subconscious level. Now, you have the ability to both understand and manipulate them for positive change. There was a time when we didn’t know what an atom was, so we were unable to make use of its awesome power. Learning about values has much the same effect on us. By bringing them to consciousness, we can produce results we never could before. We can play with buttons that we didn’t know exited before. Remember, values are belief systems that have global effects. So by making changes in values either in eliminating conflicts or enhancing the power of empowering values we can make profound changes in our entire life.
Instead of feeling uneasy about value conflicts we barely understood in the past, we can understand what’s going on within us, or between us and others, and begin to generate new results we do this in many ways. We can reframe the experience so that it’s most effective. We can change our evidence procedures by manipulating their sub-modalities, as we’ve done throughout. When values conflict the real conflict is often between one of many evidence procedures. We can turn down the picture and the sound in such a way as to make the conflict unnoticeable. In some cases, we can even change the values themselves. If you have a value you wish were higher on your hierarchy, you can change its sub-modalities so it’s more like those at the top of the hierarchy. In most cases, it’s much easier and more effective to deal with sub-modalities, but you can see just how powerful these techniques can be. In this way, you can change the level of importance of values by changing the way you represent them to your brain.
For example, there was a man Mr.C was counseling whose number one value was usefulness. Love was number nine on his ladder. As you can imagine, with this kind of a value hierarchy he did many things that did not build tremendous amounts of rapport with other human beings. C found out that he represented his number one value, usefulness, as a big picture, moved to the right, very bright, with a certain tone associated with it. After comparing it with how he represented a much lower ranked value, love (a much smaller picture in black and white with a different position, lower, darker, dimmer, defocused) all needed to do was make the sub-modalities of the lower ranked value exactly like those of the higher ranked value and make the sub-modalities of the higher ranked value just like those of the lower ranked value, then create a swish pattern to keep them there. By doing this, we changed the way he felt about his values; we changed his hierarchy. Love became his number one value. This radically altered the way he perceived the world, what was most important to him, and thus the kind of actions he created on a consistent basis.