Personal values define our behaviors, thoughts and feelings. They give meaning to our life, by encouraging us to act in one way or another and taking decisions based on what we value most.
Living according to our values allows us to achieve happiness. Not following them, makes us feel disoriented or lost.
When you are with a group of people who share your values, invisible lines of union and empathy are generated, since daily actions and decision making are usually based on those values that are most influential.
With the practice of “Value Stories” of Management 3.0, you can identify the individual and working group values. We all keep them in mind in our day today. If a team agrees on what values they want to follow (based on their values), they will work better and achieve a solid base to obtain their goals.
I implemented this practice at a program level and we called it “Our Golden Rules”. A team with several weaknesses, did not comply with their agreements, were unpunctual, had little communication and little respect for each other. As a team, there was a margin for improvement, so I decided to apply this practice.
Having explained the situation, let’s describe the implementation step by step:
- I gathered the entire working group
- Give a list of M 3.0 values to each person, along with post-its and markers
- In 10 minutes each person wrote in post-its their top 3 individual core values, which they felt should be reflected in the group work.
- Each person shares their values with the rest of the team. The post-its were grouped and the 6 most frequent values were discussed.
- A definition was established for each of the values with all the team. Remember that the same word can have a different meaning for each person, so it is necessary to agree on a common definition.
- To finish, I painted a Flipchart called “Our Golden Rules”, including all the agreed values, with their definitions. It was placed near the workplaces to keep it visible and to be present at each of the team meetings.
My experience during this dynamic was that the team participated openly and with confidence, each person selected their main values and commented on why they considered it important. We grouped and selected the six most repeated.
When the time came to agree on the definition of each value. I did it with a single open conversation, there was a lot of participation and we reached a consensus. However, it took quite some time to reach this agreement. For a team of 30 people, this dynamic can easily take 2 hours. When I have done this dynamic in small groups (approx. 9 people) it is done quickly and we get the same benefits.
In the end, the team came out with the list of values, with an alliance that they will respect in the next meetings.
Something that can also be agreed with the team is What will happen if the values are not fulfilled, this agreement will allow people to feel more committed to respecting the team’s values and they will be aware that it is in their hands.
You can apply this practice remotely by applying online tools such as https://mural.co/
Values identify, guide and strengthen your character. They can also change over time. If you ensure that your workgroups respect their main values, you will contribute to achieve the results.
Let me wrap up this post by asking: Do you know which are your main values? Are you aware of the values of your group or company? Do you feel identified with them? I invite you to make this practice and reflections. By being aware of them, you will find answers to the decisions you have already made.