Know Your Values; Coaching Conversation with Karen Watai, President of Welcome Change

Karen Watai is an executive coach, Founder and President of Welcome Change, and the author of Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want. When I spoke with Karen, I discovered that before becoming a coach, she had spent almost 20 years in investment banking and private equity.

I was curious about how she had made this pivot, and her answer was simple – the pivot came after a moment of reflection in which she thought about her whole life and what she could do to be “happier.” What she learned from the pivot was how important it is to understand your values and live them. “I have 3 high values,” Karen said, “Impact, connection, and enjoying what I do – and coaching meets every one of those values every day.”

Karen rebranded her company in the beginning of 2018, adopting the name of Welcome Change. Welcome can be an adjective, meaning a desired change, or it can be a verb directing you to be open to change and value it.

I can’t imagine welcoming change for myself without pausing and examining what values I want to live by. I feel that living by our values enables us to lead by our values and leading by our values means being set free.

That’s a lot to think about.

There are plenty of guides on the Web to help you determine your values. My favorite guides are the ones that help you establish your values for yourself and supply a lesson on how to make choices in life in alignment with your values.

Professor Paul Ingram calls this leveraging your values. A lever, after all, helps you to literally lift, or less literally, achieve more than you could without the lever. You can try the exercise that Professor Ingram has developed by visiting this Chazen Global Insights article here. In the article, an example of determining and leveraging your values is provided.

Give it a try.