Are you Living your Values?
The heading may have been a little presumptuous so I’ll wind it back a step first. Do you know your values and why they are important? Actually let’s go back another step, as I know some of you are thinking…What the hell is this guy on about? What actually are values and why should every person, business and team on this planet know there’s and live in accordance with them every single day. Put quite simply your values are the beliefs, ideas and principles that are important to you. Likewise in a business, they are ultimately what you stand for and are all about. Everyone has them, it is the rare few though who know theirs and it is rarer again to find those who live and breathe them. The happiest and most successful people use theirs as a yardstick for making decisions and taking action.
Now I can’t hold your hand every day and check in on how you are living your life, or conducting your business. What I can do however is help you to get a better understanding for what your values might be. Once you know this you are then making far more informed decisions in all areas. It will cast further light on why you get along swimmingly with some and seem to clash incessantly with others. Invariably it is a values clash. It will also help you understand why you are happy, or unhappy in your career. If the work you do, or the business you work for, jeopardises your values, you will never be happy there.
I will bring you through a simple 3 step process to begin to uncover your core values. For teams and businesses this can be a little more complex and require someone to guide you through the process. A word of warning however for businesses, DO NOT undertake this exercise if you intend for this to be solely some nice words to adorn your reception area. It will drive your staff around the bend when you say one thing, but do the complete opposite. I come across this every week and it really pisses people off.
There are 3 C’s to the Values Process. Contemplating – Choosing and Committing.
- Contemplating – What in life is important to me?
I’d suggest you take a pen and paper and write every single thing that comes to mind. Do not try and filter, or make sense of any of this just yet.
- Choosing – What does (X word from step 1) actually mean to me?
For example, a lot of people will say that making money is important to them. What does money actually give you though? Is it freedom, significance, security, etc. These are the core values you want to get down to.
- Committing – Choose your top 5 and GO LIVE THEM
Whittling this list down to 5 can be a challenge for some. Simply ask yourself; If I had to live without one of these values which one would I give up? Then rank them in order of importance from 1 to 5 and then go and live in accordance to them. Keep them somewhere visible initially until you know them inside out.
As soon as you start to behave and make decisions in alignment with your values you will see a marked improvement in your overall levels of happiness and fulfilment. This one exercise always has the most profound impact on every person and team I work with. Suck it and see.
Ciao for now – John
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