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We all have a mental checklist of things that are important to us, right? In other words, what are those things you value? For me, it’s my family…my kids…my relationships with others. Values define how we interact and treat each other. It defines WHY we do what we do. If you value relationships like I do – then, by golly, make cultivating relationships your priority – your value. 

Your values are the cornerstone of business when it comes to decision making. If you know who YOU are and what you represent, navigating the hard stuff is easier to manage. It helps determine the clients you sign on…the partnerships you ink…and even the people you hire. 

I was working with a client on some personnel issues. First, it’s important to note this client was driven by integrity…this was hugely important to her and a core value of her organization. Let me tee this up for you…. She had an employee who made some questionable integrity-based decisions on a project. My client struggled with how to approach this employee. 

She was angry and frustrated and couldn’t quite articulate why she was upset with her employee. We were talking about it, and I asked her to think about her organization’s values. She was upset because this employee fractured the integrity of her organization. When she went to have a conversation with this employee and subsequent disciplinary action – it was based on the core value of integrity. 

Although having difficult conversations can sometimes give the best leaders heartburn, values drive the decisions you make and the culture you develop within your organization.

My top three questions I use when talking with clients about defining their values include:

  1. What are you passionate about? What lights your heart on fire? 
  2. What is important to you? 
  3. What makes you unique?

So…take a few minutes, answer these questions, and think about those top 3-5 words that accurately describe YOU.