Engage with your Values

Dear Supervisory Managers,


Recently the Oregon Management Project defined the state of Oregon’s enterprise-wide values as accountability, equity, excellence and integrity. Knowing your values is a key to understanding who you are and why you do the things you do. For years, BlessingWhite has focused on values as a core aspect of understanding who we are as leaders, and as individuals. Values are a foundational component to the work that we do in the areas of career, leadership and engagement.


“When we act in accordance to our values, we are engaged, excited, and willing to extend discretionary effort to our work and our lives.” When the opposite is true, we are just watching the clock until the day is over.


It is worth taking a daily “values inventory” to check in with yourself. Was today a good day or a bad day? Were you able to stay true to your values or did you do something that caused you discomfort, and why?


Values Inventory Daily Questions

  • Ask, “How did this value become important to me?” No matter where values come from, you must be clear on whether a value is internally driven – an absolute value – or externally driven – a “should” value which is driven by society, family, or friends. Don’t shape your career around “should” values. You’ll only wind up unhappy and resenting others for this choice.


  • Ask, “Why is this value important to me?” If the value is important as an end in itself, you will answer, “because it’s who I am,” with no other logical explanation. But if the value is a means to an end, your answer will be another value. For example, “I value money because it allows me the freedom to be with my family.” Spending time with family is the absolute value here, not money.


  • Ask, “Do I really live my life in a manner consistent with this value?” Review the values you say are important to you. Are your everyday decisions and behaviors consistent with them? Are you walking the walk?


  • Ask, “When was I happiest, proudest, or most excited?” Think back to two or three of these situations and ask, “Which values were satisfied by this occasion?” Chances are these values were – and may still be – very important to you.


  • Think back to situations, or times in your life when you were unhappy, frustrated, or deflated. Ask yourself, “What would I do differently if I could live that part of my life over?” Odds are that during this regretful time of your life, some of your core values were not being satisfied.


To determine your values in action, take the VIA Survey, free.


If you’re interested in having your team participate in a values exercise to get understanding about how individual values align to work values, contact me (lisa.b.hylton@oregon.gov) for assistance. If you’d like to arrange a coaching session to work on your values or to get clarity around if you have absolute values or should values, I’d love to help.


This article excerpted from BlessingWhite. To read the entire article, click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s