The more I interact with clients regarding tricky issues and difficult decision points, the more I become convinced of the necessity to have and to hold a set of core values in business. I’ve lost count of the number of times during coaching conversations, where I’ve pointed a client to reconnect with his or her core values when faced with a dilemma or difficult decision point.
Our core values are like the core strength in our physical bodies. We depend on our core strength for everything we do physically. Similarly in business, we need our core values to be our core strength for every decision we make.
At Kaleidoscope, our core values are:
- Classy – topped off with even more class
- Hold space to act, achieve and transform
- Clients are natural, creative, resourceful and whole
- I am on your team
- Improve the client’s condition
- Sell value – never time
To give an example regarding the importance of tapping into values, at times I find myself struggling when I need to deliver a “tough” message to a CEO or business owner. I know that the message I need to provide is not going to be easy to receive, nor is it what the client necessarily “wants” to hear. Yet, one of my core values is to improve the client’s condition. If I truly believe this value, and I do, I must overcome the temptation to deliver the easy message or the message she or he wants to hear. My job is not to make people feel good, although I certainly hope that I do that some of the time. Rather, I am hired, in part, to undertake interventions that will improve my client’s position.
So, at the end of the day, if I know I have a message that can improve the client’s position even if it is difficult to hear, my job is to deliver the message. Of course I will seek out the best timing and try to be strategic regarding my approach, but I will deliver the message and will use it as a coaching opportunity to help support learning and action.
Cameron’s Call to Action
- Do an inventory of some of the most difficult decision points you have faced over the last several months in your business, and beside each of these decisions, write down the decision you landed on.
- Next, write beside the decisions the core values that you hold to, that directly relate to the decisions you made, and evaluate how well you held to your core values in your decisions.
- Develop a plan to coach each of your senior leaders in utilizing the core values of your business, in all critical decision points.
- If through this process you and/or members of your senior team are at all unclear regarding your core values and how they related to decision making, make the topic of core values a standing agenda item at all upcoming meetings, until everyone in the company fully understands what your values are.