Why values are so important

One of the attendees (let’s call him Peter) said, half in jest but spoken like a true accountant, that people were mainly motivated by money or value for money.

But, as Peter was about to find out, values are not always about money … and they can be used to motivate a team, improve your career and help you sell more both internally and to clients.

So, what are values and why are they so important?

Values are what is important to us and what we want – be it in our career, buying professional services or working in a team.

In essence, values are important because they are the key to satisfaction and motivation.

Imagine for a moment having the opportunity to have the things that really matter to you in a career – would you be motivated? Of course you would, and the same applies to staff and team.

As for selling, much has been said about unique selling points (USP). But what about unique buying points (UBP)?

Because we’re all individuals and have different values, we will all buy for different reasons. So simply having asked clients what they want, and being able to deliver it, would put you streaks ahead.

So how do we find out people’s values? The answer is simple: just ask. Ask your team what they want from their career. Ask your clients what’s important to them when buying a ‘widget’.

List the answers and ask ‘what else?’ until the person has no more answers and has around 10 to 20 values. With clients, it may be more appropriate just to ask for the top five to seven.

The next step is to list the top five in order of priority, and to ask the person what they mean by each, or what would have to happen for them to know that their values were being met.

Interestingly, at my recent talk money rarely figured highly in the list of values, and for Peter, it was only number five on his list!

  • Jeremy Lazarus, executive & business coach at The Lazarus

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