The Power of Core Values to Sound Decision Making

In a coaching relationship, we work together to develop your core principles.  That will help you become a more effective and centered decision-maker. One of the main benefits of Coaching is that it helps you align with your core values.

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Many of my own the core values inform the relationships I have with my coaching clients.

What’s Important To You?

At work and home, it’s important to do the right thing. Most of the time it’s impossible to know whether a decision is correct because we can’t see the future or all of the ramifications. Yet, we have many decisions to make every day that impact our lives and those of others.

Core Values Help With Making Good Decisions

If you don’t know the basis for making your decisions, you will be lost.   When you fail to develop and recognize guiding principles that are important to you, it becomes more difficult to make decisions. You will be more uncertain about your choices and more anxious about the outcomes.  Having (and knowing) your core principles also helps you make sound decisions on the spot.

Core Values Help You To Be Centered And Confident

It’s more difficult to do the “right thing” when you don’t know the overreaching principles that are guideposts for your decision-making.   Core values are top values to you as a person and supplement your analysis of the facts and concerns applicable to any particular situation.   It’s tough to make the right decisions when you have no idea of the proper guiding principles.

Some Of My Core Values

Here are some of my PERSONAL guiding principles. I ask myself how each of these principles is affected and reflected by my decisions. They give me a guidepost for making good decisions and living my life. I have found them effective.

  • Integrity is Job # 1

You must have integrity for people to trust you.   Integrity is hard to define, but I define it as being forthright, compassionate and ethical.   As an example, I keep people’s confidences unless they are planning to harm the organization, the firm or other people.   I also am direct and honest with people about their performance and that includes praise as well as critical feedback.   I do not do things or say things that are harmful or negative about others just because I do not like them or they have hurt me in the past because having enemies is a waste of time.

  • Measure and Reward Successes

I always stop and celebrate successes.   When I turned 50, I had a “Gala Extravaganza Celebration” in my house and invited my then 50 closest friends and relatives.   Making it to 50 is easy to measure. I try to celebrate all of my successes, maybe not with a big party but with a great dinner, a vacation, a spa treatment or something.  Going from one major life or career accomplishment to the next is no fun without first stopping and celebrating the victory.   I also did that with my employees by ordering pizza or having a wine tasting in my office.  Whether an individual, group or team goal, successfully reaching milestones and achieving success must be measured, recognized and rewarded.   Goal achievement is built through smaller micro-successes.   It is important to have milestones and build on smaller successes as you reach for the top.  Once you do, celebrate!

  • Don’t Just Think…. Act

Life rewards action, not thought.    That’s why I stopped thinking about being a coach and became one.   Leaving a lucrative law partnership was hard.  I really liked and respected my partners.  Yet, I wanted to help people with their careers and lives.   That was a calling that I can’t explain besides to say that it is in me.   I can create a safe environment for you, your team or your organization to develop a plan and implement it.   You don’t know for certain what will work until you try.   Don’t get stuck in thought.

  • It’s Better to be Respected than Loved

As a manager or partner you will make difficult decisions regarding employees, colleagues and associates.   Just like all of us, I want to be liked.  For sure, it’s important to be liked if you want people to help you.  Yet, I have learned that if my primary concern is whether everyone likes me, I won’t be able to do what is in the best interest of my organization or me.  I also will not be helping the employee or associate in the long run.  It’s important to me to be honest and direct–but also compassionate–in my approach to others.   I have found that it’s the compassion, honesty and transparency in explaining my decisions that gets me respect.   People may not like what I have to say, but they usually respect and understand my actions.

  • Don’t Make Decisions from Emotion

We are human and tend to get lost in the moment.   When I am really upset about something or someone, I step back and look at the situation from a purely factual point of view.   I often ask myself, “Am I really being threatened here?”   I never retreat from a legitimate dispute, but I don’t want to have disagreements where they are unnecessary.   To address the situation in the best way possible, I identify my long-term goals and then react based on whether my long-term goals are being furthered.

Take the Time to Define Your Core Values

It’s important to discover what’s important to you and what drives your performance at work and at home.   If you think about your important values, your decision making will be easier and you’ll feel more comfortable about your decisions and actions.

2 Responses to The Power of Core Values to Sound Decision Making

  1. […] Core values are key to avoiding ethical violations.   This is because most ethics violations are not intentional.   They occur because decisions are being made based on the wrong values (i.e., increased revenues alone) or on emotion (i.e., fear that taking more time to evaluate will be disastrous).  Establishing sound core values and strong decision making emotional intelligence skills will help ensure that you do not commit an unintended ethics violation.   See my article on the importance of core values, The Power of Core Values to Sound Decision Making. […]

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