Trust-building requires regular self-reflection
Last week I talked about 3 reasons why you need to build trust in your team. To help you do that, I suggested spending a few minutes in self-reflection each week answering 3 questions. The third question was: How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, I reminded you that your actions align with your values, ethics, and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
The team lost trust in me when I wasn't in tune with myself!
When my team started losing trust in me, I didn't understand what was causing the quickly dwindling trust. It wasn't until my coach asked me to identify my values, I started to put the puzzle pieces together.
While I said I valued some things, I didn't consistently demonstrate that through my behaviours, which means that I was not trustworthy.
When we say something and do something else, it causes people to step back and question our actions and our motives. When we advocate wholeheartedly for one thing but then turn around and do something completely different, it sends a confusing message to people. Or perhaps it sends a message that is loud and clear: Don't trust her!
Things changed when I began to dig deeper into my values.
Over the years, I have gone back to my values regularly. I identify where they show up, how they show up, and I work to use them to make decisions, guide my behaviour and as measurements to see if I am on track. Let me give you an example.
I used to think that family was my top value. The problem was that having "family" as my guiding Northstar meant it often got in the way of work. Because of that, I made decisions that did not align with me, saying it was #1. As a result, I constantly felt the inner turmoil of being off track. What's more is that others could clearly see both that I was not in integrity and that I felt crappy as a result, regardless of what I said.
Yes, I'm heading to the city again. Yes, I'll miss awards day at school. I know it's a bummer, but this meeting is crucial. I'll call my daughter at night and talk to her about it.
Can you feel the disconnect?
At the same time, I valued good quality work. I was an overachiever with high expectations for myself and others. This value often got blurred with perfectionism. Because I wasn't doing the self-reflective work to see where good turned to perfectionism, I often stretched myself beyond what was reasonable and expected that in others.
Finally, I valued wellness. I had done work to become physically and mentally healthier. I tried to ensure I worked out and ate healthily. But so often, that didn't fit into my schedule as easily as I'd have liked. To do so meant I'd have to give up other things, things that were of value to me.
I had too many top values!
In addition to my family, good quality work and wellness also valued lifelong learning, spirituality, honesty and nature. How on earth could I put all of those at the top, lead well and enjoy life? It certainly wasn't working for me.
Do you know and understand your top values?
How about you? What are your top values? Can you name them, and do you honour them in a way that feels good every day? If not, that may be where you feel much of your inner turmoil.
What's changed for many of my clients and me is getting a clearer picture of our values. It's not just a word, but as I say, it's verifying what that value means, how it shows up and knowing how to use it to guide your life.
I verified my values!
Doing the work in Values Verification, I realized that my top value is excellence. It encompasses being a good wife, mom and grandma. It also means I want to do the work to be in excellent health, do excellent work for you and be an excellent human being making an excellent contribution to the world. That means I can't be perfect at any one of those things, and I need to continually come back to all of them during self-reflection to make sure I am on track.
Clarity of values helps make decisions
I had a message from one of my adult kids the other day. They asked if they could have an hour of my time, during my workday, to talk about something very important to them. After considering things for a minute, my answer was:
However, when my daughter called me when she went into labour a couple of years ago, I was in the middle of a coaching call. The coaching call ended early, and I put excellent mamma at the top of the list quickly.
Those decisions were "easier" because of the work I've done understanding my values.
Verifying values has helped many of my clients
An example from a client is that they realized their top value is "simplicity."
The goal to lead with trust and integrity is to align your values, ethics, morals and how you speak about those with your actions and behaviours. To do that effectively, you need to have a clear understanding of your values.
When I turned things around, I realized three things:
The work I needed to do was to get reacquainted with my values, what they meant to me, and how to use my values to make decisions, drive my behaviour and leave my team. That's why I created the Values Verification course.
Are you ready to get clearer on your values?
This week in The Training Library, I'm encouraging the members to revisit the course Values Verification. Values are our internal compass and help us lead and live with integrity. To learn more about the Values Verification course, click here.
Feedback from students
These clients have completed the Values Verification course inside of The Training Library. Upon completion of the course, this is what other students had to say about what they learned about their values and how they see them differently:
Let me know how it goes!!
p.s. I'll end with a quote from Brene Brown "Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it's choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them." Make sure you understand your values so that you can practice them!!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.