Rebecca Broad – Knowing Your Core Values And Living Them Each Day
I’ve hinted here before how vital it is to me that I lead my life with intent. Nowhere is this more true than core values: the guiding principles behind why each of us do what we do. I was recently reminded of their importance by freelance coach Emma Cossey, who encouraged us to get clear on our values.
(If you’re self employed or run a business, chances are you’ll have heard of Emma, who runs The Freelance Lifestylers. If you’re employed or not in work, stick with me: this is relevant to all parts of life!)
Firstly, Google Image search “230 core values”. A pink picture hosted by The Happiness Planner should be the first result. Write down all the words which resonate, then whittle them down to a handful. I finally chose 6, then thought about ways these show up in what I do.
1 – Compassion (I hold it for myself and for others)
2 – Ethics (social and environmental perspectives in my business, and in my clients’)
3 – Development (of my skills, and of my clients’ success)
4 – Creativity (in how I work, and the different solutions I create)
5 – Purpose (content I make is backed up by data and reason; I don’t churn stuff out for the sake of it)
6 – Organisation (clarity creates understanding, and produces results efficiently)
That isn’t to say that none of the other 226 values mean anything to me – or that these will remain at my core forever. These terms are the ones that resonate most right now.
For business owners, this exercise has a whole other level of meaning. Emma explained:
“Knowing your values is important in understanding what niche works best for you – and which potential clients to avoid! Having shared values with your clients makes working together so much easier, and in situations where a client relationship isn’t working, reflecting on those values can clarify why not. For example, if balance and respect are important values for you, being micromanaged and called at all times of the day is not going to work. But if excitement and determination are strong values for you, projects with tight deadlines and lots of communication could be your perfect fit.”
The next step is engaging with your values. They’re useless sitting silently on a brand manifesto. How are you living them, day-to-day?
Three ways I try to do this are routine, social media, and conversation. For example, I try to incorporate 10 minutes of non-fiction reading into my morning routine (3 – development). On social media, I follow accounts who create high-quality, original content (5 – purpose). I make a specific effort to lead conversations with kindness and understanding (1 – compassion). I’m looking forward to finding new ways to engage with my values in life and in business.
I’d love to know what you consider to be your core values – and how you incorporate them into your everyday. Tweet me at @RebeccaComms or email firstname.lastname@example.org – perhaps we could catch up over a cuppa at Grow’s Coffee House on South St, Exeter!
Content by Rebecca Broad
Featured image by Megan Elle Garrett