Values for Business

A values exercise is an important way to gain better insight into what is of high importance or high value to you in your life.

A values exercise is an important way to gain better insight into what is of high importance or high value to you in your life. Understanding your values system can save hours of deliberation, confusion or even antagonism in your decision-making process in both your personal and professional life.

I was reminded of the impact a values exercise can have in my decision-making process when it came down to deciding on my business by-line. In the early days of business brainstorming, I must have come up with 20 different options for a byline.

Should it be catchy and clever? Should it be simple and clear? Should it say what the business does? Should it be an alliteration? How long should it be?

All I knew is that it would be an expensive mistake to get my logo designed with an ineffective byline. I was confused, until I remembered the importance of my values. I created a list of 33 values that resonated with me on a deep level. I tested them against different backdrops in my life by asking myself in what way do I practice these values when I run my household and my business. How do I feel when they are in place and even more interestingly, how do I feel when they are not in place? It was apparent that there was a lot of overlap in emotions associated with some of these values, so grouping them was the next logical step in the exercise.

Values like Organised, Clarity, Structure, Tidiness and Methodical seemed to fit together in one group. I know I feel empowered and in control when I have clarity about what I want to achieve and how I am (methodically) going to get there. Giving my clients the space to think about what they really want for themselves, and creating their own version of clarity, is an essential first step in my coaching approach.

Stability, Self-Actualisation, Focus, Discipline and Achievement seemed to fit together in another group. In our fast-paced world, it is so easy for the days to become weeks and the weeks to become months with no real traction towards achieving a specific goal. The opposite of traction is distraction, and it is my mission to help my clients identify and manage their distractions. Unpacking what focus means and what needs to be done for each client to maintain focus, is imperative in creating real change for the better.

Understanding, Learning, Continuous Improvement, Happiness, Personal Growth and Inspiration seemed to fit together in my third values group. It is important to recognise a comfort zone when you are in one, and to know what the consequences of staying there for too long might be.

There may be a multitude of ways to grow yourself and your business that brings you energy and excitement. Helping my clients to embrace challenges that bring learning and happiness into their personal and business lives is of high importance to me.

Hence, the by-line to my business, Enquiring Mind, is Clarity, Focus, Growth.

Values can change over time, as your business or personal circumstances change. Checking in with yourself and reassessing your values system can also help remind you why you set out to hold the position you have in the first place. Reminding yourself of your values can be a great motivator to continue with your mission and realise your life’s aspirations. Understanding your values can help inspire new approaches to certain problems or can inform important communication to your team members, employees, or key stakeholders. It is insightful and interesting to better-understand yourself and what you have to offer the world.

I strongly recommend doing a values exercise soon if you have not done so. The results might surprise you.

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