Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Determining Values

Setting goals for yourself, your team, and in some cases your organization are important aspects of developing a plan for your leadership. In addition, to truly understand how you can lead others, you must account for your own values and the organization's values as well. When you have a good grasp on what is important to you, this can clarify when to stand your ground and when to relent when you disagree with others which is a position you will find yourself in often as a leader.

Values are not the same as morals and ethics. In fact, what you value is unique to you and can change over time. How can you know what you value? The following steps can help:

  • Identify one of your happiest moments in your life. Who were you with? What were you doing? What factors contributed to your happiness?
  • Identify one of your proudest moments in life. Was this a shared experience? With whom? What elements in the experience made you feel proud?
  • Identify one of your most fulfilling moments. Rather than a happiest moment, this would be when you felt the greatest sense of satisfaction. What need was fulfilled?
  • When you work on determining your core values, identifying anywhere from five to ten values should be sufficient. More than ten can make decision-making too confusing.
  • When values are in conflict, identifying which ones take precedent can help clarify your thinking in these moments.
  • Since your values can change, reassessment on a regular basis can help you to determine if these values still apply. Ask yourself if you are proud, happy, and fulfilled by these values. Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable identifying your core values to another human being. If the answer to either of these questions is "no," then you should probably reassess.
  • While it is both possible and likely to value other people, this may not be as helpful as valuing abstract principles which exist outside of individuals. Principles such as honesty, adventurousness, etc. can serve as signposts for your behavior and decisions throughout your life.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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