Put simply, a value is something that is important to us. Values are the why behind any behaviour that we do as human beings. Whenever we take action and do something we do it for a reason. These reasons are what we refer to as values.

A value is an emotional state that we are either attempting to move away from or attempting to move towards. They reflect our beliefs about what is right and wrong and are the rules, principles and standards that we live by.

When you take the time to find out a what a person's most treasured values are you open the door to a level of connection that is deep, honest and long lasting.

A lot of the time a person’s values are unconscious and we have to probe and ask questions in order to find out what they are. This is also true of our own values. Even though we act in accordance to our values everyday we don’t always know what they are consciously.

You will also find that, as human beings, we place more importance on some values than we do on others. This is known as our ‘Hierarchy of Values’

Generally speaking there are two types of values. These are: Away from values and towards values.

Away from values are painful emotional states that we are attempting to move away from in life. Examples of these could be: Anger, anxiety, bitterness and loneliness.

Towards values are pleasurable emotional states that we are attempting to move towards. Examples of these could be: Achievement, fun, freedom, peace, happiness.

Human beings have two basic directions. One is to move away from pain and the other is to move towards pleasure. We all do both but we have a preference as to which one we go to first.

If a person’s preference is to move away from pain then away from values will be a much more significant part of their life than towards values.

On the other hand if they are more inclined to move towards pleasure in life then towards values will be more important to them than away from values.

An important point to make is that, irrespective of a person’s preference, both away from and towards values will play a part in deciding how they behave in the world.

For the purpose of social communication, my advice would be to stick to finding out a person's towards values and then incorporate them into your conversation. If you were in sales and your aim was to motivate them to take action then it's useful to start considering away from values but when you are talking with someone's I find it more useful to stick to the positive stuff.

By finding out a person’s towards values and incorporating them into the conversations you have makes what you say simply irresistible...your essentially talking their language...speaking to them in a way that fits who they are and what the value the most...

Finding out their Most Important Values...

First of all you have to find out what the person’s most important values are. You can do this by asking a few simple questions. Examples of these are:

I’m just curious what things are most important to you in life?

I was wondering, on a day to day basis what sort of things do you place value on?

In the long run what is really important to you?

If you were to lose everything what would you miss the most?

If you were to get what you really want in life what would that give you emotionally?

Now again, you wouldn’t just blurt these questions out within the first minute of meeting someone. There usually has to be a certain amount of trust between the two of you before they feel comfortable enough to answer these questions. Once you have got some rapport going though begin to gently introduce them into your conversation.

You will probably also notice, when you ask the questions, that they give you answers like: my house is most important to me or my girlfriend, husband or wife. If you get an answer like this then it is not strictly a value.

Remember a value is an emotional state that a person is either moving away from or moving towards. If you get an answer like this then an excellent follow up question is to ask them:

“By having that, what would it give you emotionally?”

By asking these questions you are directing the person to think in terms of values rather than material acquisitions...

Incorporate Their Values into your Conversation...

Notice that I said ‘their’ values not 'your' values. As the conversation progresses it's important to incorporate their values into it not your...

Most people have their attention fixed on their own values (After all it is our default setting) so by structuring the conversation more around their values you seperate yourself from pretty much everyone else they have a conversation with...

To give you an idea how this works, I'll use selling as a n example. Say, I was attempting to sell a garden fence to someone and I found out that their most important values in life were safety and their family. I would say something like:

“Can you imagine how safe you and your loved ones will be when you have this solid, sturdy fence to protect your property?

By using words such as safe, loved ones and protect I have made it so that buying the fence would mean they fulfil their most important values in life.

When done in an elegant and respectful way, this sort of communication can be incredibly powerful and irresistible to the person you are talking to...

Author's Bio: 

Steven Burns is known as 'The People's Coach' and is an NLP Trainer, Coach & Hypnotherapist. Following the end of his 9 and 1/2 relationship he decided to specialize in helping people let go of social anxiety disorder and become more confident and skilled in all aspects of socializing. You can find Steven's latest work at The Guide to Social Confidence