What are your values and how do they drive your success?
Sitting down for a coffee with one of my mentors, a man who happens to be a CEO and master business coach. He pointed out that most people didn’t completely understand their values. Your values drive you on a subconscious level and may help you make even the simplest decisions. The question you may ask is “why does this matter”? Your core values are important in every aspect of your life, personal, social and very importantly business.
Learning your values?
For most people they discover what their real values are and what really matters in one of three ways. The first way is that you may have a light bulb “aha” moment and it all snaps in to place, which is very rare from what I have learnt.
The second and more common way is that you read a multitude of books and attend various seminars around personal behaviours, which all allow you to better understand yourself.
The third and most effective way is by having a mentor. Someone who speaks your language and is equipped and more importantly understands what you need to learn to make yourself more complete.
To learn and appreciate your core values requires an open mind. An understanding that, even if you are good at what you do or are happy with where you are in life, there is a level above this for you.
Below are some of the topics that we discussed that I would love to share with you that may help you understand more clearly some of your driving values.
The formative years for us are from your birthdate up until 7 or so years old, known as the imprint period by Sociologist Morris Massey. This is the period where we soak up all that the world has to offer, but also learn right from wrong. It is also the period in which we develop a large amount of our subconscious behaviours, both good and bad. Our relationships with our parents helps us to form our bonds as we grow older with other family and friends. Personally I come from a family where my parents were strong, hardworking and considered to be successful. My parents put their hands up and helped any family member they could and so these became my strongest values. Serving my clients, friends, family and partners has always given me my greatest joys but greatest pains as well. I look to give my best in everything and feel disappointed when I don’t achieve that goal.
The impact of life changing events
Life changing events have a way of changing the order in which your values are arranged as I learnt after a near death experience. As an exercise my mentor had me write down what my most important values were around my personal relationships and then rank them in order of importance. After my accident I reviewed these values and to my surprise the order had changed and some additional ones added. As a challenge to yourself, write down 10 values around your relationships with a spouse, parents, children, friends, business partners and employees and review them in a year, then maybe five years and see what has changed.
Fundamentally most people we deal with want to grow their business and require that quick pill that will fix it all. A lot of businesses are catching up with the change in the workplace to allow for multi-disciplined employees but also a global market that continues to drive changes. These changes in the global market affect how people interact with each, how clients interact with businesses, evolving businesses standards and how people work.
Picture one of your parents, grandparents, uncles or aunts working in the periods between the 60’s to the late 90’s or yourself, if you are lucky and old enough. I remember an uncle who worked for a chocolate factory, he used to be given bags of chocolates by his boss every week to give to his nieces and nephews. He worked for this factory for over 30 years and even as his role changed he did only one job every day in his workplace. The shift in the global market now requires for employees to perform multiple tasks and businesses to create an online presence that should automate their business selling and customer service.
Serving your customer
We constantly meet business owners that tell us they don’t need a Facebook page or a presence on any other social media platform, a website, CRM (Customer Relations Management tool) or any other online tool. When we press further they always provide the same response which is ‘our business is doing great without it’. This could be true but there are a couple of values at play here, the most important being that these business owners think they will lose the personal interaction with their client base. There is a wide spread belief that the only reason any business should invest in a website, mobile app or their social media presence is only to get more clients. The truth is, if your business puts the “clients’ needs first”, then all of your online presence should highlight this. Having a website, mobile app or social media presence should not take away from the excellent customer service that continues to bring in clients for that business. This online presence when done well, should remind the existing customer base of who you are and what you do well, enable those clients to easily recommend your business to others whilst providing a benchmark for other businesses within the same niche on how to provide a superior service/product.
One of the most important questions we ask our clients when they say they want an online presence is ‘Why?’. Once the business owners understand their personal values and how those intersect with their business values, then it makes it easier to devise an online strategy that will work within those values.
The driving value of our business is to educate and continuously mentor our clients on how to better serve their clients.
A few tips around identifying business values and how to ensure success are:
– Write down the values for customer service, employee working roles, business growth and online presence, hiring new staff and very importantly your company culture,
– Write a list of your ideal client criteria and the least ideal criteria, identify how to serve this ideal client and what they will require from your business,
– As a business, creating content that will keep your clients constantly engaged will ensure they keep your business top of their mind when they are ready to buy your service or product. Ensure that content selected is in line with the identified business goals, ethics and standards,
– Customer service is a value that must never be lost, this is most crucial for the success of any business. Having a presence on social media where you thank customers, reply to comments and include them in day to day activities is very important. The interaction with clients will help in identifying what values in the product/service your business offers are important or can be improved,
– Think outside the square and also take note brands that are great with their presence and interaction on most of the social media platforms. Big brands understand that their client base has different values and therefore the individuality of each customer, drives which online platform they use to interact with their brands. For any business investing in technology like chatbots, apps, responsive websites, CRMs and social presence for the delivery of content will ensure your values are visible and available easily to your client base.
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