The following design was used as part of the YMCA Mentors Training program for the Black & Hispanic Achievers Program in Greensboro, North Carolina. Contact Steadman Harrison at CCL for more information.
Pass out a deck of Values Explorer cards to everyone and give them time to open the cards and look through them. Explain the components of the deck: values cards, blank cards upon which values can be written, and prompt cards (always valued, never valued). Explain that they will need a large space to complete this activity. Finally, explain that the Values Explorer card sort allows people to “put something in the middle” when they are discussing challenging issues—it acts as a kind of bridge. We will be using a lot of activities like this throughout the program.
Use the following directions for the activity:
1. Pull out the following two cards and put them on the table in front of you: Always Valued and Never Valued.
2. Shuffle through deck and choose those values that you Never Value. Place them in pile around the Never Valued card.
3. Shuffle through deck again to look for those values you Always Value. Choose 10 and place them around the Always Valued card.
4. Now, pare those 10 down to 4.
5. Choose 2 that you would like to share with group. [Form a circle and have each mentor bring their two cards to place on the floor in front of them]
6. Look around the circle. What patterns do you see? What values did people choose? [Can discuss any patterns or themes that emerge or have people share the values they chose and why they chose them.]
7. What pitfalls might you run into while mentoring coming from these values? What strengths might you bring?
8. What happens if you are mentoring someone with different values? [Can have participants return to their two piles and choose two cards from the Never Valued stack, return to the circle and discuss what happens if their mentee values those two values].
9. Discuss recognizing and valuing difference. Also, discuss how being aware of the values someone is operating from can help you in framing rewards—giving them the kind of support they need, in their language (The 5 Love Languages)
Can also link to difference in values amongst the generations. Also, can discuss the idea that a value which might first be expressed (like “wealth”) could actually be coming from the same place as a value like “love”—a need to take care of someone’s family.