Do Your Personal Values Effect How You Lead Your Team?
Personal Values are defined from the dictionary as “broad desirable goals that motivate people’s actions and serve as guiding principles in their lives.”
At Fiore Group Training, personal values, or core values are emphasized in everything decision we make, how we treat one another on the team and in our training material. Why? Personal values are a governor to what we think, do, and say. We may know what we SHOULD do, but it’s our values, what we deem fundamentally meaningful, that guides what we literally do.
Core values guide our behaviors, decisions, and actions. When you know what you value, you can live following those values, which leads to greater fulfillment. When you don’t know your values, you tend to violate them every day, which can lead to internal tension.
What’s Going On Behind the Scenes?
Perhaps things have been going a little sideways at work lately for you. Maybe the people you work with are bugging you more than usual. Perhaps your boss is getting on your nerves. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you sense that something is going on. Feeling respected and appreciated is incredibly important to us, and when we don’t feel it, we sense that conflict is just a sideways look or a snarky comment away.
Values are things we hold dear to us. They are fundamental to who we are as individuals, and when someone ignores them in dealing with us, we instantly feel offended.
If you hang on to that feeling and don’t deal with it positively, 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,” and you explode! How was he to know that you like orderliness?
It should, and it is all to do with our values.
People tend to get along a lot better with each other, not just at work when we are aware of each other’s values.
Let’s Do a Personal Values Exercise
- First, you will need to create a comprehensive list of possible personal values. There are several ways that you can create this list. A straightforward method is to do a Google search typing into your search browser, “Core Values List.” You will find several different lists. I recommend that you take one of them or choose two or three and combine them for even more valuable ideas. A list of 100 values is necessary to make the exercise effective.
- Take some time with the next step. Be patient with yourself! Look at the values chart and place a circle around the TEN values that are most important to you as an individual. I refer to the values that you instantly know, the ones that easily appeal to you in terms of personal decisions or behaviors that represent you. The first few will come to you straight away, but I want you to select TEN.
Helpful Questions to Ask of Yourself
- What’s important to you in life?
- If you could have any career, without worrying about money or other practical constraints, what would you do?
- When you’re reading news stories, what sort of story or behavior tends to inspire you?
- What type of story or behavior results in you getting upset or angry?
- What do you want to change about the world or yourself?
- What have you said or done for which you take personal pride?
- When were you the happiest?
When you have selected TEN values, look at those TEN and select the top FIVE. You will know when you have been successful as the five values that you are looking at feel as though they fit like a glove. Look what you have done. You have defined yourself in just FIVE words.
Would the People You Work With Be Able to Identify You With Those Words?
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 FIVE words?
When we know more about the people we work with or choose to spend time with, we are less likely to do something or say something inappropriate or unwelcome. This understanding goes a long way toward creating a better environment in our relationships, whether at work or elsewhere.
Personal Values and Your Day To Day Decisions
Living your values is about more than the big, long-term goals. It is also about the small, day-to-day decisions.
To reinforce your values, you could:
- Make a habit of reading your list of values every morning when you wake up.
- Visualize the day ahead and plan out how you will live by your values throughout the day.
- Print out your values and keep them close to you to refer to through the day.
- Set up reminders to pop up on your phone.
Whenever you find yourself straying from your values, analyze the situation afterward, and ask yourself, what could you have done differently?
I hope that you will take the time to do this values exercise – it will make a difference.