Let's Talk About Something Sensitive - Ethics (Part 2)
Welcome back to part 2 of our discussion on ethics. Today, we want to dig into values and how we use them. First, let's review the homework.
How did you do with creating the values for yourself? Did you find this easy or hard? Did you find it easy to define the words, or were they a bit vague? Whether it was easy or hard, there is value in having your own set of values and having them written down. By writing them down, it enables you to think about what you do, why you do it and quickly identify when things are not in alignment with your values.
Next, how about your companies values? When you looked at the definition of the values, did you find definitions for each value were they "open for interpretation"?
When working with clients, I always enjoy this part of the conversation because we get to dig deep to define the reason they do things. Why they make decisions, why they interact with people in a certain way or get so passionate about specific points of discussion. At some point, we discover undocumented or unclear values or expectations that we assume people know and should use but never do. We also find that some of the expectations of how we do things are not clearly defined in the way we want them to be used. Where do we go from here?
Our next step is to define the values we want in an organization clearly. We can use Webster to define them, but the ones that resonate more with leaders and the team are ones where the definitions are written as simple yet impactful phrases or sentences. Even getting creative with words helps us to articulate the message we are trying to convey.
The last step is we train and hold everyone accountable to the same standard. Irrelevant to position, title, role, seniority or experience with no exception. We do this to create a level playing field and to raise the bar on how we act and interact with each other and make decisions. Some companies do this very well. Others have some work to do. In both cases, the importance of values cannot be understated.
As we wrap up part two, how would you answer the following questions:
1.) My company trains everyone regularly on the values of our organization and gives examples of how we live them daily.
2.) My company holds people accountable to these values irrelevant to position, title, or seniority.
In our next session, we will share a couple of examples of how values were used to help companies make difficult decisions and the impact of them.