How do your values align with the values of your organization?
When you are out of alignment–much like when your car is out of alignment–damage and excessive wear can occur. The damage may be to your reputation or to the relationships that you value most. The excessive wear may impact your health–the stress and strain leading to obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure (just to name a few).
Exercise #1: Uncovering Your Core Values
If you’re uncertain about your core values, you can do a free values assessment or try this exercise: Make a chronological list of all of the high and low events in your life. The list doesn’t have to be exhaustive, but it should include at least 10-20 events. Give each event a rating from -10 (low points) to +10 (high points). Then write out a few thoughts about why that event was significant to you and what values were at stake. You will see a pattern emerge and that pattern will help you clearly see your values.
Exercise #2: Discovering Others’ Core Values
To lead effectively, you need to know what your team members value and how those values align with the organization’s. If you don’t know your team members’ values, Just Ask. Listen for the following key words: like, dislike, mad, happy, frustrated, love, hate, purpose, favorite, least favorite, healthy, unhealthy. When you hear one of these key words, ask a values-related question: What about that event made you frustrated? What do you love about your job? Why does that activity give you a feeling of purpose? You’ll get to know your team members on a much deeper level this way. You’ll get a better sense of their values, and they’ll feel more valued in the process.
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