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Money, Success, Inspiration, Integrity

I’ve had so much great feedback from my last blog post about understanding relationship values and so I thought this week I’d continue in the same vein. Let’s take a look at business values and how these can absolutely impact upon the results – or otherwise – which you achieve …

ensure your business values are running in the same direction as your goals & aspirations

My last post described values as one of the most important and influential information filters that we have and they operate generally at an unconscious level. You may recall that I mentioned them briefly in my recent post Selective Attention. So what is a value? Simply put, it’s what’s important to us. We have different sets of values for different areas of our lives: relationships, business, family, health and fitness, for example. We don’t consciously make a decision that something is a value, it’s more of an unconscious organic process.

I work with many business people who aren’t meeting their goals or getting what they want and need from their work. Once we’ve elicited their business values, the reasons can become clearly evident. It’s especially important if you work closely with someone within in your business to ensure that your values are aligned, otherwise you’ll be forever “trying” to reach your goals, however rarely get there.

I’m going to use Kim and Joe as an example – although I’ve changed their names for the sake of this blog – who run a marketing company. They were frustrated because they could consistently reach a certain level of success yet every time that success seemed to plateau and they couldn’t get past what they both described as a “glass ceiling”. I went through a values elicitation exercise with them both. The final result was this – and I’m just going to use the top four values: Kim – (1) Inspiration (2) Innovation (3) Knowledge (4) Integrity; and Joe – (1) Reward (2) Money (3) Success (4) Professionalism.

Both sets of values were great – however as you can see, this demonstrates that these partners were coming from very different places – albeit at a generally unconscious level. Having got to know a lot about Kim and Joe, I could probably have predicted this outcome; Kim has an almost altruistic view of the world and Joe is a more results driven individual. Did this mean that this combination wasn’t workable? No, far from it. It simply meant that we needed to get some alignment and agreement between them both that they were both happy with moving forward.

We undertook a process of understanding exactly what each value meant to them both and the reasons that it was important. It’s always crucial to understand that. Money, for instance, is a great value for a business person; however I needed to know how that specific value worked. Was money important to Joe because he feared financial failure, which would make it an “away from” value, or was money important to him because he wanted the business to become cash rich so that he could live the lifestyle he desired? That would make a value “towards”. If ever you identify a value as an “away from”, it’s always a good idea to investigate the reasons, reframe and turn it into a “towards”.

Together, Kim and Joe agreed a new set of values and the top four were: Kim – (1) Inspiration (2) Money (3) Integrity (4) Success; and Joe – (1) Reward (2) Money (3) Success (4) Integrity. Their values didn’t need to match exactly, however they needed key elements of alignment, which they now had. We went through a values re-alignment exercise, again using submodalities which I’ll talk about in a later blog, to embed the newly positioned values. It was only a few weeks ago that I met with Kim and Joe so it’s too early to measure the results which these changes are yielding. However both, in separate subsequent telephone calls, have told me that they’re experiencing a newly found and really positive footing working together, with ideas free flowing abundantly and everything moving forward in a focused and smooth way which they’d both previously described as “clunky”. All good, I’d say!

So how can you understand how your business values are impacting upon your results? To complete the whole technique in as far as actually re-aligning and embedding values, you need input from a trained NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner. However, there are elements of the process that you can do for yourself which will begin to help you to get a conscious grip of where you’re at. Take these steps:

Ask yourself:

  1. “In the context of business, what’s important to me?”
    Without thinking too much about it, just write down all of the words which come to mind. You may initially come up with ten words, you may find that as many as twenty or thirty just spring to mind.
  2. Think of a time when you’ve felt really motivated in the context of your business; take yourself back to that time and imagine you’re experiencing it again – what was the feeling you had immediately before that motivation? Write it down. Do this three times.
  3. Now ask yourself, with all of these positive things present, what one negative would counteract everything and make you consider throwing in the towel? Write it down.
  4. With all of the positives, counteracted by that one negative, what one positive thing would it take for it to be “game on” again?
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 a couple more times.
  6. Now look at the list you have and take out the 8 most important values and put them in order of importance. It’s crucial that you select the values which are of importance to you in the here and the now, not in the context of you’d like things to be.
  7. Look at your top four. How are these values serving to get you to the goals and achievements in your business which you seek? Do they explain the reasons for your level of progression so far? If not, think about what values should be in your top four instead, to bring you the results that you’re looking for.
  8. If you’re involved with a business partner, have them do the same thing. How similar are your values or do they look miles apart? What do they explain about the collective results you’re getting and how could they change to really reach some great achievements?

Whilst it’s not possible to embed a change in your own values yourself, the very fact that you’ve been through this process will begin to bring into consciousness a much better understanding of why you’re at where you’re at and what – if indeed anything – needs to change! And remember to question yourself what each value actually means to you and whether it’s “away from” or “towards”. And if it’s an “away from”, what needs to change in your mindset and thinking to transform it into a “towards”?

Life’s all about re-evaluation, every day. Rest on your laurels and repeat the same behaviour over and over and you know what you’re going to get, don’t you? I don’t need to tell you that it’s what you’ve always got, do I?! If what you’re doing is working, great. If not – you’re in control – change it!

If you’d like to understand more about how values are impacting upon you and your business and you know you want to take steps to change where you’re at, then why not call me? You can always reach me on +44 (0) 7932 060360 – I’d love to chat over coffee!

Be outstanding …