A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Values

Shamsi Rategh

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Objective: To promote the practice Model the Way (Set the Example), use this activity to start a discussion about individual values in a more subliminal way. For example, without asking people to write down and share their "values", this exercise provides the opportunity for participants to speak to their values, realistically and wholeheartedly.

Audience: This activity can be done in both large and small groups.

Time Required: 1 hour prep time; 2 minutes to select picture; 15-60 minutes for group discussion, depending on the number of people participating.

Materials Needed/Setup: Based on the size of the group, three pictures for each participant, randomly selected and cut out from various magazines (i.e., a group of 10 = 30 pictures required). A wide variety of pictures should be selected with images that imply family, work, nature, culture, and so on. Before the group gathers, set up a table and spread out all of the cut-out pictures, making sure that participants are not allowed to "peak" at them before the activity gets started.

Process: Once the group has gathered, ask participants to walk around the table where the pictures are displayed and select the one that resonates most with them. Limit this part of the process to 2 minutes and request that participants make their selection in silence. Next, ask each person individually to share the main reason(s) he or she felt drawn to that specific picture. When everyone in the group has participated, the facilitator shares his or her own reasons and then discusses the topic of values: how the picture that each person chose is a reflection of his or her value system. Our values are so ingrained in who we are. And this activity brings out some of the things we find most important without even thinking about them.

Facilitator Tips: There is no limit to the number of pictures that can be made available but a minimum of three per participant is recommended. If more than one person selects a specific picture, participants can share.

Shamsi Rategh, Service Support Manager with Wells Fargo Banker Connection in Fargo, North Dakota, can be reached at Shamsi.Rategh@wellsfargo.com.

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