Values are the foundations that drive most, if not all, of our decisions whether in business or in life. They influence our relationships, our customer service, our leadership style….everything. They also change over time so it can be extremely useful to re-evaluate our own values from time to time to see how things may have changed for us and why. By having a good understanding of our values, we can gain tremendous insight, clarity and focus. Furthermore, we can use those insights and clarity to make decisions about priorities and take action that are aligned with who we are currently…….. and, importantly, who we want to be in the future.
The above word cloud are some of my values. Thanks to Wordle for helping me create my cloud.
There are two reasons that values and priorities are important for our lives.
We all have preferences on what is the best way to go about something or the best way to accomplish something or what is the right way to do something. It’s your life, your business, your team, your family so you take the decisions on what “best” means to you.
Life sometimes passes us in a blur and it is really easy to get distracted by new things or other peoples stuff. So, the second reason that defining your values and, therefore, your priorities is to battle our own inconsistency. It’s easy to fall into the trap of living by or conducting our business by different priorities every day. One day you go to the gym; the next day you’re watching crappy TV all day long. One day you are polite to customers; the next day you’re very short and disrespectful. If we are not conscious of our values and use them to set priorities to help us stick to a clear and consistent course, we’ll naturally wander. The result: poor results.
Do you find that there are times that you have conflicting priorities and that sometimes you feel obliged to do things that sit uncomfortably with you or are things that are not important? Do you have a clear idea of what your values are in your business and in your personal life? Are they aligned?
Taking time to discover and define our values will help you prioritise and improve the results in areas that are truly most important to you.
In order to get a clear sense of what is important to you in life and business, have a go at this:
How long is since you reviewed your values?