How can values shape your team?

Every organisation has their own set of values that go along with their mission and their vision. It’s those values that really define the behaviour and culture within the organisation and the decisions that get made every day. Each member of your team will bring their own set of values to the table and it’s natural that they’ll vary from the organisation’s but making sure there are some similarities in values is crucial for the success of your team.

All of us have our own personal set of values whether we know it or not. These values usually make themselves known through our actions or, sometimes, our inactions. Our values are what keep us going back to the little rundown restaurant around the corner, despite the food not being fantastic and the service nonexistent – we value supporting our local community and loyalty over everything else.

If you’re not quite sure what your core values are, spend some time analysing your decisions and your reactions to other behaviour. For instance, when you value honesty your reaction to someone telling a lie will be significant. The things that really make you tick will give you a good clue as to what your core values are.

Knowing your own values, as well as the values of your organisation, is a great thing – it can be especially useful when you are hiring new individuals for your team or organisation. Values influence your decisions and your behaviour, so you need to be ensuring your new hires have values which align to your organisations values, as well as your own personal values.

How can we use values to improve relationships?

One of the most difficult parts of working in any team is the tension and difficulties that conflict can create – especially when it’s amongst peers. Peer to peer conversations are difficult to engage in – there’s no hierarchy and there’s always the risk of creating more tension with someone you need to work alongside in the future. This is where values can come into play.

Getting to know your peers is a worthwhile exercise. Knowing their values, in particular, is one way you can tailor your conversation to the person you’re needing to have a difficult conversation with. It can help you, as you try to understand their actions and decisions – their values will be driving those decisions after all, so knowing the motivation can help you to understand.

Making it clear that you understand your peer’s values will also help them to take your feedback on board and accept your point of view – by showing them you care about their values, they can know that you have put effort into understanding them and that you are coming from a place of empathy. After all, no one likes their values being attacked

Having a successful, values-based peer to peer conversation will only help your team to move forward positively and improve relationships all round.

At the end of the day, your values will be what drives your team as they make everyday decisions and interact with each other. Be sure to always act according to your personal values as well as your organisation’s values.

If you’re ready to start cementing your values to create a more cohesive team, People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit or call us on 0412 333 415. Our online leadership training videos start from $99 for a year’s access, with new video training added each quarter. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.