When you work from your values you develop more focus, satisfaction and job satisfaction. Especially in times of crisis, this is hugely important. In this blog we explore what values are. And why they give you strength. You will also find practical tips on the power of working from your values.
What exactly are values?
Values are benchmarks. Your values have to do with the way you want to work. Values are not goals. Because goals can be achieved. But values can’t. You can compare values to an ethical compass. Values have to do with your way of being in the world and your work. Working from your values gives you strength.
Why does working from your values give you strength?
For personal leadership, it is essential to know your values. Why? Personal leadership is the ability to lead yourself. Without understanding what is important to you, you cannot lead yourself.
If you don’t work according to your values, others determine what is important to you. As a result, you float around at sea without a compass. In this way you work less effectively. So you lose power.
Especially in times of crisis, working from your values can give you strength. Why?
- values give direction in your work
- the things that happen to you are often out of your control. By working according to values you choose how to respond. As a result you are in control of your answer
- working from your values increases your self-confidence
- If you stay in touch with your values during crises, you will experience more peace and balance. You keep heading in the direction of values, no matter how high the waves are
How do you discover what your values are?
Suppose someone were to ask your friend, child or colleague what kind of person you are. What would you want them to answer? This is a great way to find out what your values are.
You can also look at which people you are inspired by. What values do these people live by? Often these are values that are also important to you. Examples of values in your work are:
I invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on what you find important in your work. The moment you do, you take your place at the helm of your work. Because your values are your compass. They help you to set your course. And when you have a clear course, you can navigate more effectively; right through the often turbulent waves of your work.
I advise you not to choose too many values at once. Because then your compass will get upset. You could start with two or three values. After all, you can always adjust them again at a later time if you feel the need. Which values could empower your way of working?
For my work, I believe the following three values are important at this time:
Why did I choose these values? Strength is important to me because I am working on several new projects in the middle of the corona crisis.
And creativity is a value that reminds me to think of new things. Because the corona crisis demands different services than a year ago. How can I respond to this in the best way possible?
Serenity is an important value for me. After all, I am an impatient type. And in times of crisis, impatience often doesn’t help.
Working from my values gives me strength. And also inspiration.
Practice working from your values
Usually, once you have chosen your values, it is not the rule that you behave perfectly ever after. In my case, at least, it’s not. This morning, for example, I wanted to edit something online at the Chamber of Commerce. But there was a glitch. Every time I tried to confirm the adjustments, I got the dreaded message, “Oops, something went wrong. Please try again later”.
Now, unfortunately, ICT problems and oops messages work like a red cape to a bull with me. So I started to get pretty worked up. Until I remembered that my value was ” serenity”. That really helped. Because the value gave me the flexibility to switch to a different mindset and sail back in the direction my compass indicated. So I decided to take three deep breaths, go get fresh bread and put the job back on my to do list for tomorrow.
You can only discover the power of working from your values by doing it. My job satisfaction and sense of accomplishment are considerably enhanced by working from my values.
And of course, you fail often. But that can be very good for your sense of humor and your ability to put yourself in perspective. Because you can laugh at yourself when you have fallen, get back up and start again. That very fact of being able to start over again and again is what makes practicing with values so inspiring.
The barista who works from values
I read a story about a barista in San Francisco. She worked in a super busy and hip cafe. Especially in the early morning it was a rush hour. A visitor watched her with great admiration. The barista was booed by a customer because she had accidentally served soy instead of foamed milk. She remained calm and dealt with the customer calmly.
Shortly after, she was again treated unpleasantly by a customer in a hurry. Again, she remained friendly. And she radiated calm and serenity. “How do you do it?” the visitor asked. “Why do you never lose your temper?”. And the barista replied, ” four years ago I found out that I can control almost nothing in my life. Except my reaction. So I decided to become a master at controlling my reactions. And difficult customers are an ideal workout for me!”.
This story beautifully illustrates the power of working according to your values. This barista is an example to me.
Practical tips for discovering the power of using your values
Why not start today to make your work more enjoyable by working from your values? I’d love to give you some tips for inspiration:
- Take a few minutes to write down your “work values.” Circle the three most important ones and work with each value for a week
- when the alarm clock goes off, take a few conscious breaths and give some attention to the value you have chosen. Speak into yourself the intention that you will work from your values today. This gives more energy than being filled up with worries as soon as you wake up.
- recall your value a few times a day and tune in to it again
Practicing working from your values takes no extra time. And it can become a source of strength and inspiration for you. You practice responding from your values instead of responding automatically. Your values are at the helm of your work and not your automatic responses.
As you practice, your brain forms new neural connections. As a result, value becomes more and more a part of the way you work. Your “Values Muscle” becomes stronger and stronger. I grant you the power of working according to your values.
Want to know more about how to stay at the helm of your work?