Do you value your Values? (Full Version)

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cnelligan -> Do you value your Values? (December 6, 2005 9:46:00 PM)

Greetings once again. Thank you for checking back in - (even though you haven't done all your shopping...)

I find a review experience valuable when a year is winding down. Perhaps the calendar just calls for it. At any rate I'd like to share one with you in this post.

How is trust built and how is it built quickly and solidly?

What forms the basis for most if not all of an individual's AND an organization's actions?

I believe that it all goes back to values. Many of those employed in the therapy industry and even those in private practice take for granted that individual and organizational values are understood. Although it seems fundamental, this understanding is often bypassed in our day to day "living." Seeking alignment of one's personal values with their organization's values is critical to a person's feelings of success and purpose. As we would see in the clinic, a misalignment of a spine or wrist would lead to symptoms of a problem...symptoms of pain, symptoms of a reduction in function. The feelings of an individual with their own core values misaligned with their organizations result in much of the same: feelings of frustration, anger or burnout. In an organization, over time they will ultimately be costly to the organization. In terms of dollars and cents, those experiencing the values "disconnect" may decrease their contribution, their performance and ultimately depart.

One must truly identify their own values first. Although it sounds basic, do you truly know the following about yourself?

I can list my top 3 core values.
I have goals based on my values.
I test decisions based on my values.
My work reflects my values.

Now examine your organization, or your practice or your team.

I know what my organization's top 3 core values are.
Our organization demonstrates its values in our services.
We hire therapists/other associates based on a good values fit.
My values are aligned with the organization's.

Take some time to really audit the connect or disconnect you are living in your practice of therapy right now.

Do you need to make any adjustments in 2006?

Are you "aligned"?

SJBird55 -> Re: Do you value your Values? (December 9, 2005 5:24:00 AM)

I'd argue that an organization that has certain values in its mission statement and actions or behaviors seen through management decision-making that are contrary to the written mission statement would be a problem too. Anyone can make things look good on paper, but the next step is action and follow through with what is on paper. The "say what you do and DO what you say" concept.

I really don't see values as some key that needs to be aligned. Think about it, at this day in age, someone with Christian morals and beliefs is sort of a minority - those morals and beliefs are deeper than values, they are a way of life. The majority of businesses and organizations are not going to have values of that strength or parallel with Christianity. Bottom line is generally profit. Which then flows down into our field as productivity. Many times the all-mighty dollar is behind a lot of the decisions made by upper management. So, in a society in which the dollar drives decisions and has the most value that would mean that those with Christian values aren't in alignment with most organizations. So, do those with Christian morals and beliefs leave a company because of a disconnect? I'd doubt it, I think most people leave organizations because of a lack of satisfaction, not because of incongruency of values.

I believe that trust can be gained and maintained via communication, defined expectations, providing appreciation, truly supporting employees and consistency. I also believe that the majority of time, the almighty dollar is the basis for most organizational decisions.

srcase -> Re: Do you value your Values? (December 9, 2005 5:01:00 PM)

Actually, your argument is circular in it's logic. You state that most businesses don't have traditionally "Christian" values, but value profit and productivity; then state that people with Christian values leave companies out of dissatisfaction, not incongruency of values. But isn't that dissatisfaction a symptoms of the incongruency? If our work fulfilled our values, we would be satisfied. And, most people, to some extent, have to compromise their values to align with and feel fulfilled by their work. The question really is, to what extent are you willing to compromise your values?? And from my understanding of the Bible, money is not the root of all evil, the LOVE of money is. So, making a profit is not necessarily counter to Christian values.

SJBird55 -> Re: Do you value your Values? (December 11, 2005 12:17:00 PM)

I never said that money was evil. There are many decisions that are made only with the idea of profit in mind with little thought toward anything else which does go against Christian values, in my opinion. You can make a profit and have Christian values and there isn't anything wrong with that. The difference is in how one goes about making that profit and how other various factors involved are considered - in other words, considering the patients, the third-party payers, the employees and the organization itself. As with anything in life, sometimes we (or an organization) choose to do wrong because the risk of being caught is small enough, maybe the ramifications don't matter or maybe the time, or maybe cost to prove we did something wrong outweigh any benefits that could be gained so we decide to take the risk.

I really don't think most employees leave organizations due to incongruency of values. Dissatisfaction is the main reason - employees not feeling valued, not feeling appreciated, not feeling support, personal needs not considered - I don't neccesarily consider these types of things "values" per say as much as the way we treat each other. I didn't separate Christians from non-Christians in my statement. I think dissatisfaction is a universal reason, regardless of values or religious beliefs.

My main reason for bringing up Christianity is because generally speaking a Christian's top 3 values will probably not be congruent with an organization's top 3. So, in other words, employees may be working within an environment of particular values and at the same time extending their own value system in their individual actions/decisions. The other aspect is that most organizations are going to have great looking values on paper.... paper is one thing, but the process or practice may be different.

cnelligan -> Re: Do you value your Values? (December 12, 2005 12:48:00 PM)

You are exactly right, "paper is one thing (or the glossy framed in the hallway)but the process may be different." In these cases I do believe that employees leave due to incongruency of values. Perhaps I should define values in the terms of how I work with my clients. To quote Patrick Williams, "To understand the role values play in your life, it might be helpful to compare yourself to an automobile. Like the engine in a car, your body, emotions, wants and needs are the driving force or energy provider to move you through life. Your mind/thinking is like the steering wheel, directing the movement of the vehicle (behavior) and your Value System acts like the rules of the road."

These road rules protect you and help you get where you need to go in a safe and efficient manner. When you have truly identified your core values and follow them you are assured that your behavior is protective and supportive of "self".

In an organization, (both stated and "lived")values come from those who lead. I don't agree the dollar has to be the value but it may be the outcome of following the values. For example, the value might be "continued learning for all associates", or the value of "clearly defined systems" ,a profitable business might be built on this foundation.

If you as a therapist value "flexibility" in your lifestyle and the organization does not, you may well leave because of this incongruency. Or if you value continued clinical learning / sharing knowledge with others and the organization does not you probably will not take the open position. As Sarah pointed out, it is the compromise of values or unclear core values, (sometimes we may not be even AWARE of this)that may keep us from living authentic lives.

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