Three Keys to Values-Aligned Experiences

Guest post from S. Chris
Edmonds
:
Being around values
mis-aligned people lowers trust, discretionary energy, and performance. Our
research suggests three key steps you can take to ensure values-aligned
experiences:
1)
Be
clear on your own values. Define the behaviors you will demonstrate when you
are living your values, and take time regularly to reflect on how you’re doing
with modeling those valued behaviors.
2)
Observe
the decisions and behaviors of others. It is not your responsibility to change
their values, but it is up to you to insulate yourself from those whose values
are inconsistent with your own.
3)
Actively
cherish and celebrate the people around you who DO share your values.
I’ve been very lucky
throughout my career to be attracted to jobs and opportunities where I’ve
worked with people who share my values and life principles. There have been
times when I’ve engaged in project work with players who were clearly not
values-aligned with me . . . and much learning resulted!
I have bragged about
one of my best bosses, Jerry Nutter  (a
long time executive with YMCAs in California) in previous posts. Jerry taught
me to observe others’ behavior as “that will give you insights into their values”
and to surround myself with values-aligned people. “Life is too short,” Nutter
explained, “to do otherwise.”
Day-to-Day Decisions
and Behavior Reveal a Person’s Values
You likely have seen
these behaviors in the workplace during your career:

Engaging
in gossip

Withholding
information from peers to make oneself look better/smarter/more productive

Teasing
and/or making fun (sometimes in the name of “teambuilding”)

Complaining
about someone’s behavior to a peer, team lead, or boss without going directly
to that person to address the concern
These and dozens of
other similar behaviors happen in organizations every day. If your organization
has not intentionally defined their desired culture and values base, norms
often evolve that tolerate (and even support) behaviors like these.
Decisions reveal
values in the workplace, as well. If you’ve had a boss belittle a team member
(in front of them or behind their back), take credit for work others have done,
or promised to do “X” yet moments later did the exact opposite, you are seeing
the values they embrace.
The Hole In One
I experienced an
epiphany about values misalignment years ago on the golf course. A work
colleague and I enjoyed golf and began playing together at a local course on
Saturdays. This colleague (let’s call him Bill) had a reputation in the company
for making fast decisions that served him and his team well . . . even if it
meant stepping on toes. I’d seen Bill publicly belittle others more than once,
so had that gnawing feeling in my gut about this gentleman’s values. Because of
that, I was always on guard around Bill, even outside the workplace.
We approached the par
3 17th hole and Bill set up his tee shot. He pushed the ball into the greenside
creek. He cursed up a storm while placing another ball on the tee. He swung and
hit a very nice shot towards the pin. It took one bounce and dove into the cup!
I said, “Nice par!”
Bill’s first ball in the water cost him a penalty stroke, so he was hitting his
third stroke on the tee. Bill looked at me angrily and said, “I’m taking that
as a hole in one!” I was not surprised at Bill’s self-serving stroke tallying .
. . but realized at that moment that I was at fault by spending time on the
golf course with someone whose values were very different than mine. I fixed
that immediately – I preferred playing golf with strangers than with Bill.
The bottom line: Do
the right thing for your sanity, productivity, and spirit.
S. Chris Edmonds is
a sought-after speaker, author, and executive consultant. After a 15-year
career leading successful teams, Chris founded his consulting company, The Purposeful Culture Group, in
1990. Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard
Companies since 1995. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including
Amazon best sellers The
Culture Engine
 and Leading at a Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn
from his blog posts, podcasts, assessments, research, and videos at http://drivingresultsthroughculture.com.
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