If you’ve been around Core Values Counseling for any amount of time, you know what a high regard we have for the Core Values Index™(CVI™). It’s such a fast and easy way to better understand the internal and external worlds of those around us — our kids, our spouse, our coworkers.
Some personality assessments are complex and confusing. The CVI™, on the other hand, has a complexity that isn’t hard to understand or remember — and there’s an impressive depth of research behind it. (Lynn Taylor studied some 300 other assessments for personality, selected the top 30, and drilled down into each of those to distill the best way to quickly understand someone in a way that doesn’t change over time. It really is powerful stuff.)
While the CVI™ is incredibly useful for couples, we (Sabrina and Eric) have found that the CVI™ provides a way for our whole family to communicate effectively and better understand one another. We now have a common language, thanks to the CVI™, and that’s incredibly powerful. We talk about it all the time, and it enriches our communication.
We love understanding the psychology and inner workings of others more than the average family (we’re unique that way). As such, our adult sons and their wives have all been to our conferences, and all of them went through the unpacking of their CVI™ within their first year of marriage, learning how to deal with conflict, how to understand one another, and how to appreciate and admire one another. The knowledge they’ve gleaned from the CVI™ has been immensely helpful, not only for their relationships as married people but also for us together as a family, especially when conflict inevitably arises.
Understanding our family members’ values helps us to honor them and see who they are at their core; we can appreciate the beauty of how they’re wired and how they tick. Eric and I communicate better with each of our kids and vice versa. We’re able to recognize one another’s motives for what we do and how we relate to one another. (The Gottmans, by the way, refer to this work of understanding the other people in your life and getting to know how they’re wired and how they function as building love maps. We talk about this more in The Art and Science of Love.)
One of my daughters-in-law is a high Innovator. Her gifts are wisdom and compassion, and she loves coming up with ideas. In fact, we call her our Idea Machine. Whether planning a party or a trip or a gathering of any sort, she always comes up with so many fantastic ideas.
By contrast, I (Sabrina) am a high Merchant. I’m all about relationships and will readily admit that I will sometimes meet the needs of my family to my own detriment because I’m such a high Merchant. I’ll do everything I can to keep love in the room. My family knows this about me, and they understand that it’s hard for me to say no to a relational opportunity like having grandkids overnight or babysitting for the weekend. Oftentimes, they will double- and triple-check with me to make sure I’m really up for whatever it is they’re asking of me. It helps because they know me at my core.
And I know each of them and their heart of hearts. I can see beneath the surface with each of them and can tell when they’re feeling anxious about something. I don’t take offense to that; I remember their CVI™ scores in a specific area (i.e. I consider the lens through which they view their world).
For example, one of my sons is a very cognitive, in-his-head sort of person; he’s not super emotional. Because I know his core values, I don’t take offense to that, whereas before, I would have been really upset that he isn’t overly demonstrative and doesn’t exude his love like I do. I have a lot of words; my son chooses his words carefully. So when he says, “I love you, Mom. Thank you so much for what you do,” it’s like a blazing gold-star moment from me.
If you haven’t explored the CVI™, now is the perfect time to dig in. You can take the free assessment here and start understanding yourself — and your family — in exciting, eye-opening new ways.
For an in-depth look at the CVI™, we also offer an online-self paced course, Unpacking of the CVI™, to help you and your family gain a deeper appreciation for one another’s core values, conflict styles, gifts, and more. It includes a workbook and a follow-along video tutorial. Register today!