At some point we find ourselves in a place which we didn’t plan on going to, being in a situation or environment that doesn’t make us happy, or feel we are stuck between circumstances that pressure us to live our lives in a certain way.
I believe it is important to find the time for ourselves and make an inventory of where do we stand today.
The Logical Levels is one of the frameworks that help to do just that – a structured inventory of “who” we feel we are, what are our values, how is it related to the strengths we develop, and what we do as a result.
The model helps us to understand the different levels at which we experience our world. It also helps us identify where do we focus to make future changes. It is a powerful framework for systematical and multi-dimensional decision making. The basic idea behind the logical levels is that each level directly affects those lower in the hierarchy.
Purpose Level: relates to our experience of contributing to a larger system.
Identity Level: relates to how we see our role in this system. Our identity can consist of the parts like being a father, a professional, an artist, a creator, an achiever, a sportsman, etc.
Values Level: relates to what we believe is the most important, what is right and wrong. While identifying your values you can think something like: “What do I feel is the most important for me and has to be important for other people? Because it is the right thing to do and live your life like this.” For example constant development, taking care of others, creation, leadership, ambition, power, respect, etc.
Here is one of the trustworthy values assessment tools I can recommend if you want to explore your list of values: https://www.valuescentre.com/tools-assessments/pva/
Capability Level: relates to your current skill set, your strengths, and your potential.
When you want to discover your strengths or skillset, a great exercise to do is asking for feedback. Whether it is a professional area that you are focusing on, or relationships, friendship, or else, you can ask people who are a part of this part of your life to give you feedback on your strengths and skills.
There are also more specific assessments that you can use. One of the assessments I can recommend is Clifton Strengths Assessment: https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/252137/home.aspx
Behavior Level: relates to your actions and reactions. Despite the skills and strengths you have, actions are those things you do in fact. Sometimes we might have the skills, talents, or potential for something. But it doesn’t always mean we use it in practice at our jobs or other activities.
Environment Level: relates to the context we are in. The first thing we usually think of when we want a change in our life is the environment. And there are examples when changing something drastically can influence a quality change on the upper levels. Like changing the job might bring us new motivation, engagement, can unlock that potential we didn’t use, and even influence what we believe is right.
A more systematic change and development though you can create when you plan your future according to your identity and values, going down the pyramid levels and systematically plan which capabilities you need to develop, how would you need to change your behavior and therefore the environment.
How to work with the Logical Levels in Self-Coaching
Working with the pyramid, going top-to-bottom and reflecting on your identity and values, identifying the strengths you develop and action you actually take, helps to notice inconsistencies and broken connections between who we are and WHERE we came to be at this moment.
I would love to share my own example. My identity is a “supporter”, “helper”, “someone who serves to help people achieve happiness and content”. I got strongly connected with who I am and recognized my values years ago. That’s why I went to study psychology, started my career in the public social center, and even later when I found myself supporting tech startups to scale into successful businesses, my goal was always related to helping people achieve their purpose while keeping connection with their inner self.
My identity and my values will hardly be able to change. But when 7 years ago I started working directly with the company founders and CEOs, I found my self at the place where I needed to develop new level of capabilities to be able to coach and support this kind of leaders.
Now, when once in awhile I catch myself maintaining some intense amount paperwork, I feel disconnected from my identity and purpose. So I lose any motivation to do that. Even when it is a vital part of managing a business.
Sometimes though your identity can change. For instance we are becoming parents and our identity now includes being a mother or father. This kind of identity change may bring new values – like being a provider, having a value for stability and willing to have control in your life.
When changes like these happen, it is important to make a new iteration of self-inventory.
I have met some artists, for whom creation and freedom was the biggest part of their identity for years. And when they became parents, they were struggling through the identity change – they felt they are betraying their older values for more stability, because they also wanted to provide for their kids, buy property, or invest in kids education.
It is so important to make a self-inventory once in awhile!
I would recommend you to make a self-inventory for your major identity areas like: professional, partner, artists, mother/father, etc. Think of a few areas of your identity and reflect on them using the pyramid of “Logical Levels”.
Here you will find a workbook on the identity – “professional”. Download this workbook to try Self-Inventory today!