The ancient Roman emperor and philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, wrote that “a person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values”. Nearly two thousand years later, his words still ring true. Cultivating an integral list of values is indispensable if you wish to have peace of mind, become a better person, and live your life to the fullest.
What are values?
Values are the principles and moral standards that define a person’s judgment and behaviour. An individual’s values delineate the content of their character. Developing good values helps build the attitude to improve one’s professional and personal life.
Why is the articulation of values important??
Articulating your values is important because they define the most important things in your life are. Your values decide your priorities, including how you wish to live and work. Human values are like fingerprints. They may differ from person to person, but they always leave a mark on everything we touch. By keeping a set of healthy values, a person can take the reins of their life’s improvement while positively influencing their peers.
If your lifestyle doesn’t fit your core values, then you’re bound to feel dissatisfaction and discontent. A lack of distinct values will make the actions you take feel wrong and meaningless, leading to an unhappy life. In contrast, keeping a proper hierarchy of values is essential to keep a positive self-image.
How does knowing your own values help you make decisions?
By acknowledging your own core values, you gain awareness of where your true priorities lie. Knowing your values helps you plan your life and make difficult decisions with greater clarity and confidence.
It will be easier to choose how your future will play out if you always keep your values in mind. For example, if you wish to one day start a family, choosing a career path that takes you away from home for long periods may be contradictory to the things you hold valuable. Likewise, if you’re an individual who values living peacefully, a very engaging and competitive job may stress you out and give you little satisfaction.
A good understating of your values helps you assess:
- What types of jobs/careers are best for you;
- Your capacity to succeed as an entrepreneur;
- How advantageous accepting a promotion can be;
- Your job prospects, including your ability to handle a management position;
- How your values align with your professional goals.
Examples of core values
- Integrity: A strong code of ethics is an essential priority for individuals who are to hold a front-facing position. Integrity is paramount for managers and employees who must stand for a company’s core values in addition to their own.
- Honesty: Being honest is more important than merely following rules and policies. A person who acts transparently can be trusted by colleagues, customers, and the public. In business, an honest attitude puts a person on a fast track to gaining the respect of their peers.
- Fairness: Offering everyone impartial and just treatment is indispensable on both a personal and professional level. It is paramount to treat people without displaying favouritism and avoid any form of discrimination. By treating other people with the decency they deserve, you ensure they will be comfortable around you.
- Accountability: An individual with strong core values is always accountable for their actions, including when they make mistakes. People quickly learn to trust accountable people. Likewise, always holding accountability in high regard is important to build self-trust.
- Holding on to promises: Whenever you make a promise, it’s critical to stay true to your word. Likewise, you should avoid making promises you won’t be able to fulfill. Making empty promises will let customers quickly know you are not to be trusted.
- Inclusion: Everyone’s life experience is different, but you should always consider that people with a different set of abilities than yours still have something of value to offer. Organizations succeed by allowing people with different backgrounds and skill sets to cooperate. If you are in a leadership position, you should make sure all your subordinates have access to equal opportunities.
- Humility: No one is born knowledgeable. Moreover, every single person knows something you do not and from which you could benefit..To wade through life as a know-it-all and dismissing opportunities to learn from others is a way to unequivocally end up unhappyo end up unhappy. Continuous learning is the foundation upon which the most successful companies are built.
- Teamwork: Two heads are better than one, and when it comes to professional environments, the more the merrier. When people work together, they are able to quickly achieve things that would be otherwise tedious and time-consuming. A manager needs their employees to work as a team just as a ship captain needs a lighthouse to arrive safely to port.
- Passion: If you’re not passionate about the life you lead, it may be the time to start making changes. Passion allows people to conquer mountains and create beautiful works of art. Finding joy in one’s life will improve the quality of your work. Moreover, it will help you accomplish innovative and creative endeavours.
- Craftsmanship: Having the drive to set high standards and sticking to them is valuable in your personal and professional world alike. In the eyes of the vast majority of customers, a company is only as good as the goods and services it provides. Doing your best and constantly learning how to improve your craft will guarantee you will be the right person for the job, wherever and whenever.
How to discover your values
Identify what life experiences make you happy and proud
You can define an outline of your core values by looking back at examples in your professional and personal life where you have been happy and satisfied with your outcomes.
When doing so, you should consider:
- What actions were you performing? For example, if you’ve previously held a job at a convenience store and felt at your best when working the cash register, that may have been because you were happy to deal with customers.
- Who was there with you? Some people work best with others while some are happier and more productive when they are by themselves. You ought to consider the qualities of the company with which you are contenting yourself as it will reveal many insights about yourself. For instance, if you somehow feel eager to deal with difficult emotions, then you may have what it takes to become a counselor.
- What factors contribute to your happiness? From the time of day to the type of clothes you were wearing, there are many secondary factors to consider when gauging how a situation made you feel.
Consider what your top priorities are
A little bit of introspection goes a long way when you’re trying to discover what your core values are. When making important life decisions, such as choosing a career path, keeping your priorities in check will guarantee you will be happier with your choices.
You can start by writing down a list of your core values. Afterwards, you should visualize life situations where those values come into play. You should compare and contrast your top core values and pick the ones that are worth the most to you. For instance, if you are very interested in helping others and becoming a more worldly person, then looking into foreign aid work opportunities may be beneficial to you.
Reaffirm your list of core values
Your values should fit your lifestyle and the vision you have for the future. Don’t be afraid to give your list of values a second look and make changes if you think you’ve made a mistake.
Important questions to ask yourself include:
- Do your values give you a sense of pride?
- Would you be comfortable talking about your values with the people you respect and admire?
- Could you stick to your values even when the choices you’d make impact your popularity and social standing?
- Would you be ready to make compromises so your lifestyle can align with your values?
Take an organizational values assessment test
You can gain a better understanding of what your top core values are by taking a professional values assessment test. The ID-Values Test (OVT) is the ideal tool for any individual or organization looking to evaluate their principles, ethics, and moral standards from an organizational perspective.
Previously known as the Organizational Values Test – Pyramid Format (OVT-PYR), the ID-Values Test can be used to study the organizational values of employees, managers, and potential new hires. As a recruitment or development assessment tool, the ID-Values Test gives companies and organizations a strategic view into applicants’ moral standards and cultural fit.
The test can be used to help answer several questions about a person’s values, including:
- Does an employee’s hierarchy of core values align with those of an organization?
- What organizational values are shared among the managers of an organization?
- Are the same organizational values shared by different groups?
- Can the organizational values shared by members of different work environments facilitate the merger between two companies, divisions, or departments?
- What organizational values help improve employee happiness and personal success?
- Does an organization offer an environment that corresponds to its employees’ professional life goals?
The ID-Values Test consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and can be taken in less than an hour. The test contains no right or wrong answers. It is meant to define the core values of a person as well as identify what work-related values align with those of a company. Organizations that choose to include the test during the selection of new hires can ensure a stronger fit, in addition to higher employee engagement and retention rates.