The Coat of Arms: Representing Our Core Values


For centuries, families, governments, and companies and have represented their essential qualities and values through a Coat of Arms. While rooted in feudal military history, this tool has been readily adapted to illustrate to the world those things that matter, how we wish to be known, and a legacy to further generations of our family. Combined with a Motto, we capture our values artistically and elegantly.

Exercise: What are your Core Values? To what degree do they consciously guide your Intentions? Take a few minutes to reflect on these questions. Then briefly illustrate your responses, using the Coat of Arms worksheet provided (or making a copy to complete separately). Once completed, return to the last exercise and your emerging Core Story… is there now more that you can say about it?


In each box, represent a value that matters to you in your life and work. It may be a picture, phrase, or other artistic representation. At the bottom, insert a simple Motto that captures the essence of the values that guide you.

I’ve used the Coat of Arms activity in a number of contexts over the years, whether as a concluding course exercise to reflect upon what has been learned or an opportunity to consider our priorities as we embark upon a longer project, just as we are doing here. It always sparks good conversation and often informs participants in ways that are uniquely accessed by its more artistic aspects. From a coaching/mentoring perspective, the Coat of Arms allows a pair to clarify What Matters at Work in some more personally revealing ways that may otherwise be difficult to express together.


Published by Harry Webne-Behrman

I am a facilitator, mediator, educator, and consultant specializing in addressing complex challenges and disputes within organizations. I bring over 40 years experience to this work and offer two recent books, What Matters at Work (2020) and What Matters in This Moment (2021) to these efforts.

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