Today’s blog (part one) is about the importance of knowing your own values and how you choose to ‘bring them to life’ in your work and career.
“Values are the things you believe are important in the way you live and work”
I found this on: www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm. This seems to me a clear and straightforward statement that suggests our values influence the way we conduct ourselves, the way we choose to live our lives and the way we behave towards ourselves and others.
Some examples of ‘values’ that we might hold ‘dear’ are:
- Authenticity:- keeping it real, being true to yourself and others
- Honesty:- being clear and upfront with people
- Freedom: having freedom of choice, for yourself and others
- Family life: – working to live and support your family
- Creativity:- being able to run with new ideas, find new pathways
Behind every ‘value’ word we will all have different interpretations of what that means for us and how we might live them.
Values to me, run through us like a ‘stick of rock’ and we probably take them for granted until they are under threat and boy, do we then sit up and take notice. They may be so central to the way we live, that almost like ‘breathing’, we probably don’t fully notice them until they are under threat.
I am, I think fortunate to be able to run my own business in line with my personal values. So if I start to feel myself or my business drifting away from those values, I can choose to make the necessary changes.
What happens though whilst working within an organisation, you notice a shift in their values’, either quite suddenly or imperceptibly over time? Furthermore you notice that the change is creating a gap between your values and those of the organisation you work for?
This I believe can be a real source of stress to individuals as they struggle to reconcile the two lots of values. I have found that it can sometimes take a little while for an individual to realise that this is what the ‘struggle’ is about. Often people will become aware of a sense of dissatisfaction or unease about their role, or their organisation and it can take a while for them to recognise that the ‘value gap’ is a central part of this.
Almost without fully acknowledging it, people may be picking up on a different set of behaviours around the organisation, such as people becoming less trusting, having less time for each other, people being less open.
There is a lot more I think to be said around this topic, so will come back to it in the near future.