You know that feeling you get when you slide on the perfect pair of shoes for a specific task at hand? Things just feel right.  If you’re on your feet all day in the office, it’s the pair that looks and feels good.  For my outdoor projects, my Danner Boots are my go-to.  If you are just getting home after a long day, maybe you can’t wait to put those cozy, kick-back slippers on.  The point is, the right footwear in life makes a big difference! 

The same can be said of the feeling we get when we wake up in the morning, mindful and ready to notice and honor the core values in others. Like the best selection of footwear, this is one of the best strategies we know of to help relationships thrive, whether at work, home, or wherever you go. The reason it’s so effective is because understanding the core values in yourself and in others allows you to effectively hit the mark with how people are hard-wired, getting beneath “personality” that changes with environmental circumstances of life (the highs and lows).

In my last post, I discussed how personality differs from hard-wiring, and I introduced you to the Core Values Index (CVI). Six years ago, we discovered this revolutionary human capital assessment. After submitting ourselves to the process, we gradually introduced the instrument to our clients in the disciplines of professional counseling and organizational consulting/executive coaching. Six years later, we are still saying that the CVI is the most effective assessment for understanding people and transforming relationships. With a 94% reliability, there’s just not another human assessment that comes close (DISC, Myers Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Personalysis and all the rest cap out at about 80%). 

Previously, I highlighted the first two of the four core values types: Merchants and Innovators, and discussed how their communication styles alone (how they prefer to communicate and receive communication) can be identified, honored and leveraged for good. It is important to note here that we are not just Merchants, Innovators, Bankers, and Builders, but rather, combinations of all four, to varying degrees. The CVI highlights and honors our uniqueness by showing how much of a Merchant, Innovator, Banker, and Builder someone is, as well as how this can be observed practically in their lives. An understanding of the Core Values in yourself and others can radically improve your life and the quality of your relationships.

Now let’s look at the remaining two core values types: Bankers and Builders.

A Banker’s core values are knowledge and justice. Knowledge is defined as “The how and why of things,” and Justice (in the CVI) is when “knowledge is available to all and used appropriately.” In short, Bankers are information people. They love to take in knowledge and have a large capacity to retain and recall it at-will. Bankers are also seriously committed to the principle of excellence and really want to see everything they do or care about be rooted in this value. This is one of the reasons Bankers generally take their time in making decisions and executing them, even though they may admit they take too long, at times. 

A Banker’s communication style is rooted in the sharing of details. They share each point (representing important facts) when they talk. When someone with a high Banker is talking to you, they want you to see how the facts line up to the conclusion they eventually arrive at. Know anyone like this? Chances are, if you are lower in Banker and have higher scores in any of the other three core value types (Innovator, Builder, or Merchant), you likely have a hard time communicating with Bankers. This is because you don’t want to spend time waiting for them to get to the point. Are you chuckling to yourself yet? Innovators can see where the Banker is likely going right from the start, and find it hard to wait for the Banker to share all the facts and come to the finish-line. For Innovators, it’s an efficiency issue. Higher Merchants can also become impatient, but for a different reason. They see the highly detailed and lengthly explanations of the Banker to be slow, cramping their fun and exciting style of living and relating. Because Builders prefer a to-the-point manner of communication all the time, they simply don’t have time for extra details from Bankers. 

If we were to stop here, Bankers look like a barrier rather than a resource, but when you put on their glasses to see from their perspective, you see another side. Bankers might catch potential flaws in an Innovator’s assessment, or find solutions that a Merchant would have never seen without the Banker’s critical eye and on-demand database of history. Bankers want Merchants in their lives so that they can support big Merchant visions. They do this by grounding and supporting them in the principle of conservation. The Banker ensures that everyone the Merchant cares about will actually have what they need in their lives.

A Banker sees the Builder’s tendency to rush to action and results, and says, “let’s make sure you have the right mix for your foundation first!” When we slow down and consider who the Bankers are in our lives, as well as where they are coming from (they are trying to help deepen a level of quality to benefit everyone in a community), we honor their core values and suddenly see them for the resource they are, not the barrier we could perceive them to be. 

Now let’s switch gears to consider the Builders in our lives.

A Builder’s core values are power and faith. Before I lose you to the word “power” (some like the sound of that word, while others have a negative association with it and want to steer clear), it is important to know that “power,” from the CVI lens, is “personal energy applied to make a positive difference.” Practically speaking, when Builders are living in their best, they put their horsepower behind tasks to actually help others. From that vantage point, power looks and feels great to all. A Builder’s power is supported by their faith. This faith is not a spiritual dynamic, but a deep-rooted belief that they know what to do, or will learn what to do in order to help them achieve action and results. Builders are get’r-done type people. When they see something needs to be done, they are on it, and see it through to the finish-line. 

A Builder’s to-the-point communication style supports her hard-wired drive to see action and results. Other core value types (Merchants, Innovators, and Bankers) honor the Builders in their lives by thinking through their ideas ahead of time, and then limit what they bring to the Builder, delivering just the critical list (and yes, everything can’t be “critical” or you’ll lose the Builder’s interest). Builders have large internal motors that sustain them from an energy standpoint. This may be very apparent to you if you have a smaller Builder in your core values numbers. Put a Builder with a higher number (say 25-30), and another Builder with a lower number (say 8-13) next to one another, and the higher Builder will have everything crossed off the same checklist without even breaking a sweat, while the lower Builder may have knocked off a few items and is ready for a break. It’s not about strong or weak, it’s about the different contributions we all make to our world and the relationships around us. The lower Builder may not be poised to knock out a huge checklist in a short window of time, but instead, they offer something different. They may approach those same items on the list with wisdom and problem solving (Innovator contributions), or with fun and team-oriented attitude (Merchant contributions), or from a precision and time-tested research base (Banker contribution). The real strength of the CVI is learning to work together to gather greater results, efficiency, excellence and community.

So, like choosing the best pair of shoes for your day, why not try on the intentionality of working around the core values in yours and others’ lives? See if it doesn’t make a significant difference in the quality, effectiveness, and satisfaction of your relationships!

Jeff Mattson is the Co-Owner & Founder of Living Wholehearted, LLC where he serves as an Organization Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach

If you want to take the FREE OR FULL CVI to know your hard-wiring – CLICK HERE