Values-based decision-making is a concept I use both in my executive coaching and in my life choices. As an executive coach working with clients, one of the first steps that I do is to help the client identify their values. Probably even more important than organizational values are the individual’s personal values. If there is a lack of congruence in the individual values and the organizational values, an individual’s employment becomes work. When an individual’s values are congruent with the organizational values, employment takes on a sense of calling and can be very fulfilling for the individual (and profitable for the organization).
Just as organizations need to identify their purpose and values in order to meet their marketplace needs and be competitive and successful, individuals also need to understand and identify their values. This clarification of values by the individual allows them to base their decisions on those values. It allows a framework from which to reference and a select options. Wisdom literature states that a house divided cannot stand. An individual who consistently makes decisions on shifty or inconsistent values often finds themselves in frustrating situations. Persons who have clearly identified their values are able to base their decisions with laser like focus on desired outcomes.
Values-based decision-making is a very holistic approach to life and leadership. John Maxwell once said that there is no such thing as “business ethics.” The point he is making is that we have one level of ethics or values that we use for all of our decisions. We cannot say that we have one set of values for the workplace, another set of values for our home, and another set of values for our Sunday morning, our Saturday afternoon place of worship. Just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, our values can be judged by the lowest common denominator. This discussion of one’s personal values may appear to have little to do with one’s workplace environment. However, it has everything to do with one’s happiness in the workplace, for this is the point of values congruence.
A person cannot consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way they see themselves. Eventually your values will find you. Time and truth go hand-in-hand. When was the last time you sat down, clearly identified your values, and possibly incorporated them into your purpose statement? It has been said that if you aim at nothing you would hit it every time. What targeted values do you have in your sights?
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- Personal Values and Decision Making (socyberty.com)