– Blog –

Values – not just words on a wall

Saranne Postansby Saranne Postans

We’re all familiar with the values of our business or organisation – you might even be able to remember them. And, if you’ve been working in communications and PR for a while, you’ll probably have been involved in a values workshop or two in your time.

But, have you ever stopped to think about your personal values? Here’s why I think it’s worth investing some time to do just that.

Why would I bother?

Well, the saying ‘the tip of the iceberg’ comes from the idea that only 10% of an iceberg is visible above the water. The other 90% is hidden, and so it is with human behaviour.   What drives behaviour are our thoughts, beliefs and values.

It goes without saying there are no rights or wrongs here, this stuff is hard-wired into us, but if that’s the case surely it’s worth taking a little time to think about what drives our behavior?

Where do I start?

There are two ways to approach this – from a positive perspective or a negative one – either works well and achieves the same result.

So, you can either think about the people you love hanging out with the most and, if you had to list the best things about them, what would they be?

Alternatively, you can think about the things that get you really cross about when they’re lacking in the people around you.

OK, give me some examples…

The people I love the most have at least one of the following things:

  • a zest for life and an ability to be positive, even when circumstances are challenging
  • enough honesty and integrity to call out poor behaviour in others, including me!
  • a desire for fairness

On the other hand, things that are guaranteed to get my goat include:

  • Ask either of my kids about the one thing that drives me mad and they’ll definitely say this!
  • a lack of justice or fair play. The most vivid example of this is a work colleague who once accused me of doing something that I hadn’t done. When I tried to talk to them and explain what had actually happened, they completely blanked me and wouldn’t let me put across my side of the story. I’m not a bitter person and I don’t hold grudges but I haven’t spoken to that person from that day to this because I felt that it was so unfair.

Some ideas to get you started…

So, have I convinced you to have a think about it? If so, hurrah! I can even help you to get started with a fantastic, crowd-sourced A-Z of ideas from the amazing Comms Unplugged crowd.

Go on, give it a go! And let us know what you come up with, we’d love to keep this list growing…

A – authenticity

B – bravery

C – courage

D – determination

E – energy

F – fearlessness

G – gratitude

H – honesty

I – integrity

J – joyfulness

K – kindness

L – loyalty

M – modesty

N – niceness

O – openness

P – positivity

Q – quirkiness

R – resourcefulness

S – supportiveness

T – truthfulness

U – unselfishness

V – vitality

W – wellbeing

X – x-factor

Y – yes!

Z – zestiness

Saranne Postans is marketing director and facilitator with Fresh Air Fridays, our lovely Comms Unplugged sponsors and wellbeing activity leaders. She’s been with us as an original #unplugger since our first event in 2017.