Why does consistency with values pay off at work?
One of my clients, let's call her Alex, showed up completely wrecked in the session. She had just been transferred to another department in a large company. Nothing that awaited her there looked right. It was not a place to develop further, it did not meet her ambitions, the team composition and the new position assigned to her did not suit her.
Suddenly, everything in her carefully planned career collapsed on her. Her expectations collapsed. She stood on the edge. On the one hand, she was convinced that she had to stay in the company to achieve her goals, keep her family, maintain the continuity of work, and on the other hand, everything in her shouted that what she was thrown into was at odds with her needs and personality.
So during the session, we looked at different options together, put things in perspective, and… it didn’t help, things didn’t look any better.
Then I asked her what was important in her life.
At this point, her expression changed, she relaxed and finally smiled. She started telling me about everything that was of special importance to her, about her values and dreams. She looked like she was hugging herself.
And then there was a breakthrough. That AHA moment when our eyes suddenly open and we begin to see everything clearly. When she referred to what was important to her, everything clicked into place. The course of events stopped frightening her and she began to look optimistically to the future again. Why? Because she returned to her values, she felt integrated as a human being. Alex regained strength and self-confidence, she remembered what she wanted from life. She left the session with renewed energy and a clear vision of her actions.
Do we forget about values in adulthood?
The truth is, we rarely think about values in adulthood. We hear about them in advertisements for charities or at Christmas, but we stop thinking about values in the context of our daily activities.
Meanwhile, one simple question that we could ask ourselves in many situations of conflict or uncertainty “is what I am doing in line with my values?” would solve a lot of problems. It would clear our minds and make our choices easier.
Why? Because integration with one’s own values is a compass for a human being.
You talked about values in high school or college (remember those philosophical discussions over wine until dawn about what is important in life?). Later, we try to teach our children values, but at the same time we often forget that our own behavior is a model for children. We say “you must not slander your friend behind his back”. And then we hang up the phone and say out loud to our family members: “what an idiot our neighbour is”.
Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ’em all over everything you do. Elvis Presley
Why is it important to live up to your own values in the workplace?
1. Because it allows us to make choices in many professional situations, during meetings or conflicts within the organization, and stand up for what we believe. This, in turn, translates into self-respect, courage and inner strength,
2. Because it makes our internal compass stable. Whatever happens, we know how to behave, because we are aware of what is important to us. We do not go with the flow, we do not allow ourselves to be manipulated, sooner or later we stand up for ourselves.
3. By adhering to the values at work, it is easier to set directions and goals for action. We are clear about what we want and what we are striving for. We can critically look at the goals of the organisation we work for and verify on an ongoing basis whether they are consistent with what we believe.
4. When we adhere to the values, we become a model for others. If honesty is our value, other viewers say that we do not lie, do not manipulate, and do not use the achievements of colleagues for our own benefit. This awakens others’ respect for us, builds mutual trust and makes the immediate environment friendly to us. And if we encounter hostility, it will not shake us, because we have inner strength, we are internally integrated and we can cope with any situation.
5. Values make us feel special and help us express our individual character. We do not get lost in the mass and in a sea of mediocrity, because we know what we want. They motivate to action and self-improvement; they enable us to better use our own potential.
6. Because we live consciously. We know that values are the determinant in our lives. We reflect on ourselves and watch ourselves. We draw conclusions from the situation and our own behaviour, we learn from mistakes. Values are the source of knowledge, of wisdom, they have the power to transform towards a better life.
7. And last but not least, being consistent with the values guarantees that we will not regret that we have not done something, because we live integrated, in harmony with ourselves.
Are you having a hard time lately?
This means that there are some unresolved needs behind it. Ask yourself: what is important to you? Do you put on masks in the workplace, pretending to be someone else, or do you remain yourself? Just don’t tell me, “Yes, because there is no other way.” Really? Who says so? Your inner ME?
There is a way out of every situation. If you feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward, let me know. Let’s talk and go back to what’s important to you.