What are your values?
Helping others, loyalty, meaningful work, quality, kindness, family are all some of my values. But does it matter what they are? Well to me, my work and my clients it does.
We all have a set of values. Those things that we believe matter in life. For some of us we may literally wear them on our sleeves for all to see, for others they are less obvious but they do however form part of us, how we work, our relationships, how we behave and live our lives. If you are feeling overwhelmed, lacking clarity about your work and clients, doubting your decisions and lack focus it is really useful to sense check your values. Whenever we are doing something that does not meet our values and needs, we are likely to feel unfulfilled!
Our values aren’t static. Experiencing life, 2020, becoming a parent, experiencing loss, etc. can all affect our values. So even if you think that you know your values there are so many benefits in reviewing and reminding yourself of them –
Help you to be clear on your purpose and focus
Revisiting your values can help you clear that veil of fog that often seems to come when either we are so busy that we lose sight of what we are doing, or when we are wanting to try and develop our work or change direction but literally cannot gain clarity. Thinking about your values can be a great starting point. It can provide a framework from which to think about what work or actions would support and align with your values.
Frame who you will and won’t work with
We tend to like and build relationships with people with similar values to our own. We know that when we start to think about our ideal client that often they have many attributes that mirror our own. In my consultancy work I bring organisations together to work in partnership to a common goal. They all have different focus, structure and operations but finding their shared values is so important as it provides common ground. Where values are shared across organisations, they can share purpose and resources to achieve a common goal and relationships are strong. As freelancers, our relationships with clients are no different. Being clear about your values helps us in our identification of your ideal clients, those people that we do and do not want to work with, people who do or don’t align with our set of values.
Sense of self, stability and security
Do you sometimes argue with yourself over making a decision or how you should react to a situation? Those times when you just aren’t sure whether a decision is right for you or your work. The need to trust yourself. Clarity around your values can support the building of this trust in your thoughts and actions and having the confidence and self-belief in your response.
Knowing your values can help you in understanding yourself, giving you the stability and security that comes from you knowing what is important to you. When you know what you want and is important to you it brings a level of confidence and stability in your behaviour and response to decisions.
Identifying your values is the easiest of tasks
If we are working close to our values then we will gain an increased sense of fulfilment, and I am sure that beyond paying the bills everyone wants that from their work?
There is such an easy way to have a quick sense check of your values. It can literally take a matter of minutes (or longer if you have the time as it is time well spent). What are your values? List them! I have a prompt list of values – just message me and I will happily send it.
Identify – begin with a long list of values and then keep reducing this down. Aim to get down to no more than 10 values that you feel represent your beliefs.
Reflect – are you working and acting in alignment to these values currently?
Respond – what else you can do to act more in alignment with your values?
Nicola Hughes is a freelancer for over 14 years. She provides consultancy in service development and improvement and is also a Coach in Confidence and Freelancing.
Nicola can help you reflect, develop clarity, trust in yourself and build confidence to achieve your goals. Please contact Nicola for an informal chat about how she could support you.