Respectful Workplace and Your Personal Values

Okay, so things have been going a little sideways at work lately for you.

Perhaps the people you work with are bugging you more than usual.

Perhaps your boss is getting on your nerves more than she/he normally does.

You can’t quite put your finger on it but something is going on. You feel you are being disrespected and as the famous Star Wars movie quote says: “There is a disturbance in the Force.”

What can do you do about it?

Respect in our workplace is incredibly important to us and when we don’t feel it, we sense that conflict is just an errand look or a snarky comment away.

Conflict in the workplace invariably occurs when someone’s values have been trodden on by someone.

Values Influence Behavior

Values are things we hold dear to us. They are absolutely fundamental to who we are as individuals and when they are ignored by someone else, we instantly feel offended.

If you hang on to that feeling and don’t deal with it in a positive way, that feeling will inevitably grow and grow until one day……when your colleague puts his dirty cup in the staff room kitchen sink…….right next to the sign which you have taped up stating, “Your mother doesn’t work here,” you explode!

How was he to know that you like orderliness? You were brought up believing that ‘everything has a place and there is a place for everything.’

Sound familiar?

It should and it is all to do with our values.

People would likely be a lot more respectful around other people in the workplace if they knew more about their values.

Take the Values Exercise

So think about this little exercise for a few minutes. First of all, create a comprehensive list of values.  There are several ways that you can create this list…a quick Google Search and you will be done. (see note below) You should create a chart which contains at least 100 values for this approach to be effective.

Look at values chart and place a circle around the TEN values that are most important to you as an individual.

You may find this is not an easy thing to do. The first few will come to you straight away…. but you must select TEN.

When you have selected TEN values, look at those TEN and select the top FIVE ….and then from those FIVE, reduce the list down further to the top THREE.

Look what you have done!

You have defined yourself in just THREE words.

Do Others Know What You Value?

The question is do the people with whom you work know those things about you?

If they were asked to do the same exercise and list the values that they believed were important to you, would they arrive at the same THREE words?

The point is this: when we know more about the people we work with, we are less likely to do something or say something that is inappropriate or unwelcome, which is the whole goal behind creating an environment in our workplaces focused on respect.

I was talking to someone the other day who had been dealing with aspects of his workplace where he felt he had been disrespected and also felt that he was being deliberately left out of workplace conversations. We went through this exercise and he was able to discover that one of the top three values he held dear, was the value of comradeship. This was why he was being triggered when he sensed people were excluding him. We developed some safe strategies for him to deal with those feelings and for him to be able to manage those feelings in his workplace in a positive way.

 

GOOGLE SEARCH FOR VALUES – Type “list of personal values” in the google search bar.  Lots of lists will appear.  You can take one of them, or choose two or three and combine them for even more value ideas.