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How Knowing Your Values Shapes The Work You Do–And Helps Steer You In The Right Direction

woman stands facing camera with her team at a table behind her

Use your values as a compass to guide your team and business along the right path.

A mistake many leaders make is taking for granted that everyone they work with (clients and employees) is aware of the way things “should” be. From turnaround and proper response times to other aspects like flexibility, creative collaboration, and more.

As a visionary in your organization, your values shape the way you do business. They’re at the core of how you conduct yourself and set the tone for your interactions and even the type of people you will bring on board.

Knowing your values, clearly prioritizing them, and sharing them with those who work with you is key in aligning your efforts and supporting each other as you set milestones and grow.

How Knowing Your Values Impacts the Work You Do:

Defining your values helps you show up authentically and connect with customers and team members. You’ll attract the right people to your organization by knowing what’s important to you and building your business in alignment with those things.

Your Values Help Drive Your Hiring Decisions

No matter what type of organization you’re in, your company culture is shaped by the leader’s values. An example of this is startup culture: startup founders tend to be nimble, creative, ready to take risks–and expect their employees to live up to the same. On the contrary, a traditional or established financial institution may value consistency, stability, and tried and true methods for sustainable growth.

Knowing your values makes it easier to find the people who best align with them and:

  • Attract candidates that are a cultural fit: In our example above, you can easily see how values would drive the hiring decision for a startup by prioritizing applicants who are perhaps less established in their career and thus, flexible and open to experimenting and taking risks. The opposite of which would be true for the financial institution.
  • Help articulate the behaviors that enable candidates to be successful in your organization no matter your size, having a written values statement or set of guiding principles gives you and others involved the ability to communicate your cultural operating system and what makes someone successful in it.

Regardless of what side of the coin you find yourself on, once you know your values it’s easier to find the right team members to move your company forward.

Your Values Shape Your Communication (with Team Members and Clients)

Unclear expectations, unspoken disagreements, or seemingly innocent situations like an instant messaging pet peeve can quickly turn into big communication mishaps and tarnish a professional relationship, both internally and with clients.

In daily life and work, we all have different ways to engage with those around us. From managers who require daily check-ins to contractors who keep everything in emails for the sake of accuracy, as a leader, it is up to you to set clear rules and standard practices around the use of tools or software in communicating, what feedback and exchanges should look like, and even what’s considered appropriate within your organization. Your values should provide the “why” behind your team’s practices to avoid misunderstandings that can result in friction and delayed processes.

Related: 4 Simple Ways to Improve Communication in the Workplace

Your Values Simplify Decision-Making 

Many business leaders struggle to define the goals and milestones their business should reach, falling into the trap of comparing their business with competitors, chasing others’ dreams and trajectories, and losing sight of what truly matters to them and their organization.

Knowing your values helps you hone in on what drives your company to success. When you focus on your core values and let them guide you in goal setting, it’s easier to define your milestones and key actions, explain why they matter, and ultimately design winning strategies that your team can get fully support.

And when faced with numerous r tough choices, your values are indispensable in cutting through the noise. Knowing what you stand for gives your principles that simply decision-making.

When Your Values Align with Your Actions, Your Business Runs More Smoothly

As a leader, you’re in charge of bringing to life your vision for the type of company you want to run. It’s up to you to share it with your team and help them see the meaning behind the decisions and paths you take.

Your values are the best tool to define solid boundaries within your business by prioritizing the things that most matter to you and helping steer you towards them.

Knowing your values and using them as a guiding tool, you’re better equipped to handle daily challenges and communicate with your team and clients, and give them the tools to serve your organization to the best of their abilities.

Unsure of your values and how to start defining them? Let’s chat!

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