Written by Forbes Coaches Council
Values-based decision making means understanding what is most important to you and then incorporating this into your life on a daily basis. Knowing exactly what you believe also helps you make the decisions that naturally lead to a more fulfilling career.
But how can you adjust your priorities in order to shift to this approach? Below, we asked nine members of Forbes Coaches Council how to put values-based decision making into practice in order to lead a more fulfilling career. Here’s what they said:
1. Own Your Own Authority
When a choice makes you uneasy, identify what value it is rubbing up against and why. I ask myself if the decision I’m trying on is based on truth and growth or fear and denial. The same action can hold different meanings for different people. You can gather opinions, but bottom line, your own gut will tell you what is value-based for you. This also helps you stand strong with unpopular decisions. - Mary Schaefer, Artemis Path, Inc.
2. Keep Focused
Values-based decision making is the keel that keeps the organism (people, processes, procedures and practices) balanced, honest and moving forward. When your values are well defined, fully understood by all, and emphasized regularly, decisions are made easily from within the framework employed. - Terry Schaefer, Profitable Family Business
3. Pay Attention To What Makes You Feel Fulfilled
When you know your core values and consistently make decisions in favor of them, you’ll likely see your confidence, strength and purposeful productivity skyrocket. In my experience, decision-making out of alignment with core values is the main factor in disconnect, disengagement and a general sense of feeling “off.” Values clarification is not difficult and is definitely worth the effort. - Christi Hegstad, MAP Professional Development Inc.
4. Make A List
Make no mistake, a clear list of your top 5-7 one-word values is like a personal North Star. To identify your values, ask: What makes me angry? Who do I most respect and admire? What experiences do I think of most fondly? What celebrities do I love? Then follow up with the question: Why? Keep asking why until you find the root causes, and consider asking a friend for help distilling your values. - Taylor Jacobson, TeamPossible
5. Don’t Confuse Societal Values With Actual Values
The challenge most of us face is discriminating our aspirational values from our actual values. At times, we pay lip service to socially desirable values that never quite manifest in our daily actions, causing confusion and mistrust. Making values-based decisions begins with taking the time to truly look inward to identify your actual values, so as to bridge the gap between your words and actions. - Dr. Woody Woodward, HCI
6. Are You Proud Of The Work You Do?
I’ve been there — in a career that was outwardly successful and inwardly in conflict with my values. The words “values” and “ethics” aren’t synonyms. You work very ethically and may still not be aligned with what you truly value in life. If you’re feeling restless, this misalignment may be the case. Ask yourself, does this work, this success, or this daily activity make me truly proud? - Sarah Beth Aubrey, A.C.T. Aubrey Coaching & Training
7. If It Doesn’t Align, Don’t Choose It
Values-based decision making requires you to really know yourself, what you stand for, what you’re passionate about, and your purpose. Knowing this allows you to set guardrails for making decisions. Ultimately you become aligned, happier, fulfilled and always on-track, which accelerates success in life and your career. You can’t make bad decisions with this model, as you always remain true to you. - Jen Kelchner, Kelchner Advisory
8. Name Values Before The Moment Of Difficulty
Tough choices are those in which our values come into conflict. Making values-based career decisions requires you to name those values prior to the moment of difficulty when your judgment is clouded. Having awareness of, and clarity about, your values — and their relative importance — allows you to use them as a lens to filter your decisions so they are aligned with your true north. - Tara Padua, NextFem
9. Reassess Your Values Throughout Your Life
At each stage of our career, it is important to reassess our values based on our current place in life. What we valued at 20 is certainly not the same at 40 or 50. Making values-based decisions leads us to the right organization and the adequate environment to support our personal and professional growth. Choosing a role or a position aligned with our core values will propel us to effortless success. - Belinda MJ Brown,