Over the past few weeks, I have been posting about Alignment. I wrote a lot about making sure that the messages that customers received were consistent and consistent with your Brand. I want to make sure that the what is being communicated is an accurate reflection.
Values are the key here. What do you believe about your business? What problems do you solve and how do you solve them? How do you make decisions? How do you deal with challenges and conflict? All of these questions and more come from a place of value. Value represents what you believe and how you act. It is this that people that you come in contact with will take away from any interaction. As it is said, Actions speak louder than Words.
So, how do you display your Values? You do so by being authentic in your communications and actions. People will react to authenticity. If you keep having to fake your way through conversations, that will come across to those you meet. It is why you can not overcome an objection that you believe in. Your prospects will see the truth and act accordingly.
So, when you build up your message you need to be authenitic and bring your values to light in what you are doing. Almost any message can be made to work, but someone elses message will not work for you. Bringing all this together means that you will choose naturally to align things. Of course, this gets to be a problem as you include other people whether they are employees, partners, prospects or customers. You will have much greater success with people that are aligned with your Values as well. Which is why it is important to understand which Values are important to your work and workplace. Not every Value is important at work nor are they all worth bringing to the workplace. There are hot button topics that do not matter at work and it is fine to keep them separate. It does not mean that you should not have them, just that you need to be clear that they add nothing to your business.
This means that you should have a relatively short list of Values by which your business will operate. These need to be clear to everyone involved in it. The biggest challenge will be with employees and partners. They will often agree with your Values externally but not internally. There will be challenges that they present to your Values to see if they are true and authentic. It is at those moments where you get to decide whether these Values are real.
One of my past employers called together a management meeting at which we were told that the number one value of the company was being ethical. Within a week, I was told to evaluate a supplier and I let the team know that one of the senior members of the supplier was a convicted felon. I was then promptly told that this was not important and to continue the evaluation. As you can guess, I decided that being ethical actually did not matter to this company.
So, align your company with your values. Make sure your values are the way you want your business to run and then run it that way. This will build your Brand with all the people you meet.
Have a great day!
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