Let Your Values Guide Decision-Making
It’s been said that if you want to understand something about people’s values, pay attention to the key decisions they make and the actions they take. Everyone has values—including you. Values tend to be reflected in your behaviors. And as further explained in MAP’s new book, The Disciplined Leader (Release date: June 2015), good things happen when you consistently align your decision-making to personal and company values. This alignment enables you to effectively prioritize and better accomplish all those responsibilities and to-dos. What’s more, if you make a habit of aligning decision-making and values, you’ll boost your odds of building a reputation as a consistent, trustworthy leader. On a personal level, there is at least one important perk: Using values to guide decision-making can leave you feeling happier, or simply more satisfied, too.
On the professional front, here are three situations where you should consistently use your values to make important decisions:
Cultivating business relationships. You’re going to be faced with certain choices whether engaging in new relationships, nurturing those you’ve got, or discontinuing others. Sometimes the answers won’t be clear about what you should or should not do, or how you should navigate these relationship waters. But if you regularly call upon your values to give you direction, you’ll be more likely to do what’s right. Over time, this will help you achieve your goals while building the respect and credibility in regard to your relationships.
Hiring employees. It’s very common for MAP to coach leaders on how to handle hiring mistakes. More often than not, what these clients come to realize is that most hiring mistakes result from mismatched values. Specifically, when employees don’t share the same values as the company (or the boss), it usually leads to disconnect, costly conflicts, and even termination. To avoid this pitfall, make sure the people applying for any open positions know your company’s values upfront. In interviews, verify that what they’ve done professionally and how they answer key value-based questions demonstrate that they hold those values high, too.
Managing your team. Like your closest family members, your team at work is always on alert, paying attention to learn what you will do in any number of situations. Say or act on something that doesn’t align with your values, and those you employ will notice! Consequently, this will cast doubt about your credibility and competency as a leader, possibly leading to their distrust of you. So avoid this leadership transgression at all costs by first becoming more aware. Start noticing whether how you’re managing your team members genuinely aligns with your core values—or those values of your company. If it doesn’t, that’s your cue to take corrective action—and then make sure you do!
What are some red flags that have signaled your values were misalignment with how you hired and/or managed your business and team relationships?