ALISON’S FRIDAY AFTERNOON BLOG:
Choosing your personal values...some thoughts and a fun exercise for you to try (well it is Friday!)
People have asked me how I chose the values for my new company. I have a confession. I have always been a bit sceptical about ‘organisational values’, believing instead that we are all a mix, with a complex, personal set of our own values. If individuals’ values happen to overlap in an organisation well that’s great, but what about diversity?
Wouldn’t we be better off looking for the differences between us, those points of divergence which after all give organisations greater decision-making ability, breadth of understanding and help to scupper group-think?
Scepticism aside, I set about developing mine. I had a website and materials to develop, I needed them fast! I threw away the tried and tested routes and instead thought about those occasions when clients or colleagues had said Id added value, to them or their work. So that’s where these came from:
Fairness– something I strive for and which bothers me if absent,
Focus – ive been told im highly focused on delivery,
Flair – a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’every now and then never hurts,
Then calmness, it came in too further down the list (if didn’t begin with F after all) but its something CEOs have said to me several times and derives from my time working for government ministers, learning to keep calm in crisis after crisis, as the media hones in and opponents circle. My calm helping to keep them calm too I hope.
So have a think about your personal values. What have colleagues and friends said to you about how you’ve helped them? Does one value come up time and again? I bet it does.
If you need a bit more insight try this fun exercise, shared with me years ago, its really quick and extremely insightful:
Pick ten trusted friends/colleagues and send each of them a text with 2 questions
1 What would you buy from me?
2. and Why?
The first answer is of course the product or service they would buy from you, something they believe you can help them with but the second question is the true indicator of your value to them.
Don’t make the mistake that I did though. I mentioned this exercise to a friend one evening, he sent a text to every contact in his phone, well over 200 people and the evening was over, interrupted by 200 text responses!
So have fun and look out for the next Friday blog. Not too frequent because you don’t want me wittering away at you do you? But when I have something to say, I will of course say it!
Have a great weekend!
Founder Walker Fairway www.walkerfairway.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org