Defining Values

By
The Better Manager Team

June 18, 2018

The role of any manager includes establishing—and attaining—goals, communication, motivating, and coaching, all towards supporting the overall success of the organization.

We know that employees don’t leave companies: they leave managers. So how do I ensure that my employees don’t leave me? My BetterManager coach helped me see that it’s critical to understand:

  • What my people do best–I want to play to their strengths.
  • How to lead by example–I need to walk the talk, right?
  • What motivates my team–chocolate will only get me so far.

We talked about how the best way to understand my team is to know what their values are. Our values anchor us, influence our decisions, and determine our actions. If I know that one of my team members values collaboration, then I know how to better communicate with her, and motivate, coach, and reward her. Building a value-based culture results in a stronger commitment to getting the work done because it doesn’t require me to convince my team members of what’s important. Instead, I can tap into what’s important to them and relate it to our mission. It’s much more satisfying to live out our own values than someone else’s and that’s a kind of passion you can’t convince someone to feel–it’s there or it isn’t.

However, I can’t expect my team to share unless I’m going to. I tend to be a private person and I’m not a touchy-feely kind of gal. But I’ve learned that gaining trust is a give-and-take situation. I’m not going to ask my team members to do anything I wouldn’t. I don’t have to share something I feel is personal. (No one needs to know that I love rainy days because I don’t feel guilty about binge watching movies with my daughter as we eat peanut butter straight out of the jar with a spoon.) But I do have to share something that is genuine.

First order of business, then, is to be clear on what my values are. Because once I know what they are, I will know how they:

  • Influence my perception of my team
  • Have an impact on my management style
  • Transform into action
  • Determine the way I handle my values being challenged

After doing a quick values exercise with my coach, I know what I value most:

  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Getting results

I had a longer list than this–as we all do–but narrowing it down to the top three simplifies things. It’s not to say that other values don’t guide my perception or actions. The next step is to meet with my team. I’m thinking a get-to-know-each-other activity.

What suggestions do you have for this kind of activity? I’d love to hear what has worked for you!

Posted on

June 18, 2018