Copyright 2006 Bea Fields
It is not uncommon to see coaches orient their businesses around many things including needs, wants and shoulds. But, being clear on your values will call you to play a much bigger, more meaningful game as a coach. The values conversation is often fuzzy for many people, yet it is one that cannot be ignored. Here are some of the basics.
Why Core Values?
Because your core values are the principles which speak who you are as a coach. They are those deeply held beliefs which consciously and subconsciously drive your decision making. By orienting your business around your values, you can stop giving yourself pep talks and pushing yourself to be motivated. When you are in touch with your values, your business lives authentically in the world, and the bottom line is this:
Your Coaching Business Will Win!!!
So…here are the basic points I want to make about core values:
* Developing core values is easy. Living according to them is not quite so easy. It takes GUTS! Once you develop your core values, you must be willing to be intolerant of people (including your clients) violating them.
* Core values can distinguish you as a unique coach in the marketplace. They can set you apart from the competition and can serve as a rallying point for your customers and strategic partners.
* You can share core values with other people in business and life, but the way you live your values will be the true differentiation point. Nordstrom holds a value of Service to the customer above all else, and this is evident the minute you walk into one of their stores, and Nordstrom shares story after story about employees who have gone way beyond the call of duty to wow their customers.
* Core values should remain solid and fixed. They should be timeless. While your business strategies and practices will change due to changes in the marketplace, your values should remain constant. If they are constantly changing, then you have probably not landed on your true core values.
* By finding clients and strategic partners who are predisposed to share your core values, you will be much happier and more fulfilled as a coach. This does not mean that each client or person you partner with must have your same values, yet you do want them to support what you feel is most important to you and not push or cross your values boundaries.
* Establishing strong core values will inflict emotions both positive and negative. Your values will be extremely attractive to some people and will be unattractive to others. If you are creating strong emotions in others, then there is a good chance that your values are right on target.
* Core values can infuse positive energy and passion into your coaching business. Once you land on your core values, you will experience a newfound energy.
Core values can be exciting for both you and others, and the thought of being committed to values for a lifetime is a very big game! Only the bravest of people put their stakes in the ground by establishing values that last for a lifetime.
The Values Stress Test
If you can answer yes to each of the following five questions, then you are well on your way to living your core values and having them work to help you win more games!
THE CORE VALUES STRESS TEST
1) If you change your business, will you take your values with you?
2) If the world changes, will you be able to stand behind your values, even if they are unpopular or create a disadvantage for you in the marketplace?
3) When you are age 90, will you still be living your values?
4) If you have children, do you want them to carry on your values after you are gone?
5) If one of your clients, partners or employees violates one of your values, are you willing to walk away from the partnership?