Values are guideposts that support us in life, relationships, and leadership. Often, we have not been exposed to the idea of values or have not delved into them in a meaningful way. Even if we have, we may not have considered them as part of our leadership or relationship building skill sets.
Where are you at with knowing and understanding your values? Have you identified your top values? Are you using them in your life as guideposts for decision making, relationship building, advocating, and leadership skills?
Where are you at with knowing and understanding the values of those to whom you provide some form of leadership? Knowing others’ values helps you to get what is important to them, so that you can engage them, support them, and bring alignment for them and the team.
How do you go about understanding the values of others? Here are some suggestions:
- Identify and understand your own values. Here is a complimentary Personal Values Assessment from the Barrett Value Centre.
- Share your values with others on your team(s)
- Practice your own values
- Make it safe for others to share about themselves through 1-3 above
- Observe the other person and notice what they seem to enjoy
- Ask them what is important to them
- Ask them what is fulfilling about their work or the project/initiative that you are working on together
- Ask them what they are interested in as it relates to a current project or initiative
- Ask what they are involved in outside of work
- See if they would be interested in and willing to do a values assessment – individual and or team levels – from there, create shared team values
- If they are open to exploring, explore your values together – see where there is alignment, where there are gaps, and what could be done to enhance alignment
- Identify team values, so that you have shared values that you can anchor to as a team
What do you do when you know the other person’s values in order to enhance the relationship?
- Think about what is important to others, their values, when you are communicating with them
- Think about what is important to others, their values, when you are creating and building upon a new idea
- Think about how to communicate a new idea with their values in mind and ask them their thoughts and feelings about the proposed idea – modify to create alignment
- Delegate based on what you know is important to the other person, their values
- Provide feedback or input using values as a way of tailoring your feedback
- When you are making decisions as a team, think about how your shared values can support decision making
- When you are in conflict, think about what values might be at play in creating tension
Here’s an example. Let’s say I am delegating to one of my team members. I know that detail, structure and integrity are important values of this person. When I go to delegate something to this person, I can ensure that I provide detail, ask them what further details would support them, share a proposed or collaboratively create a structure for the thing being delegated, and set the stage to check-in with each other when there are any changes, questions or concerns to support integrity to timelines, with challenges or opportunities, or with questions to ensure things are on track.
When values are aligned, people feel engaged and motivated. When values gaps are taken into consideration, they can be broached and addressed. This requires understanding your own and others values, opening and continuing the conversation about values, and taking values into consideration in your interactions, when you are providing feedback and delegating, and when you are supporting your team to move forward together.
Want to explore values further? We offer a 45-minute session with debrief of the Barrett Personal Values Assessment. Book your Values Debrief session here.