When we check in with ourselves, most of us have a set of values that we live by. What about in business? In essence, values are what a business represents. If you are a sole trader they can be an extension of who you are and how you want others to perceive you. Do not underestimate how values provide clarity, alignment and direction in your business therefore keeping you on track. They also help your prospective and current clients get a sense of your work culture aspirations.
When I work with clients, one of the most important things we work on is business values. We create five one-word business values (easy to remember) which the business owner resonates with and that has a customer/client focus. These values (along with two other important tools not discussed in this blog) steer the direction of the business through marketing endeavors, collaboration opportunities and partnerships, daily business operations, staff training and cultural understanding of the business.
Business values can be changed at any time but if this happens it’s best to review all that the values align with in case amendments are needed across the business. Also, if you have staff, don’t forget to tell them! A practical way to demonstrate this is to provide you with the five values of Courage Unravelled. Each value is expanded upon so that you have a better understanding of how they relate in the context of my business.
- Real conversations – whether it’s interviewing a guest on the Courage Unravelled podcast, working with Courage Mindset clients, being in a workplace or having a conversation with someone at a networking function, I want to be able to have a genuine conversation with the person in front of me. At times this will mean asking tough questions, being open to what is being shared, being able to laugh, holding no judgement, being accountable, leaning into vulnerability, knowing when my role is to simply listen, being present when I am really challenged, moving through discomfort and knowing that when I do this, it is how I grow. Real conversations is something I also want my guest or courage mindset clients to be able to do with me too as ultimately there is freedom and healing in being able to do this. You grow, cultivate and flex your courage muscle by doing so. Being real is ultimately being honest with yourself. It is important in uncovering issues, building a respectful relationship with yourself AND it’s courageous.
- Support – I listen, I hold space and compassion, guide, mentor and/or facilitate in order to support a positive outcome for you when we move through your courage mindset program. When you are a podcast guest, my way to support you is to listen, hold space for you, allow you to open up to your vulnerability in a way that is gentle and unfolding.
- Positive growth – Having real conversations and offering support contributes to the outcome of positive growth and change in someone’s life. Listening consistently to Courage Unravelled podcast episodes, working through the Courage Journal and taking part in a Courage Mindset program are just some of the tools to help you grow and cultivate a courage mindset. If you are committed and follow through with the program, positive change is inevitable! It may get messy for a while but that is part of growth. Shedding the old to make way for the new.
- Courage – I have to walk my talk in order to understand you and be able to walk beside you and support you. What you and I perceive to be courageous, fearful or uncomfortable could very well be different but that doesn’t matter. You can only be courageous if you have walked through the hallway of fear, leaned into discomfort or challenged yourself and grown from the experience. I want to be able to work with you based on sharing stories as well as using skills and other evidence-based tools to help you create and cultivate a courage mindset.
- Integrity – In my dealings with others, my motivation is to always act with the best of intentions. This includes being honest, genuine, diplomatic where possible, trustworthy and transparent. To my mind, it’s straightforward.
I hope this prompts you to reflect on the values of your business and whether they currently drive important elements of it. If you don’t have any values it’s never too late to incorporate them into your business development planning. Is it a courageous thing to do? Not really, but it’s wise.