Values Based Decision Making

Shawnee Love   •   April 30, 2021

Have you ever noticed that once you start paying attention to something, you see it everywhere? Buy a red pick up and all you see are red pick ups.  Get pregnant and suddenly every other woman is pregnant.

So it has gone for me recently as it relates to values. Over the last few weeks, values have been cropping up in the questions and requests for advice and assistance with decision making for my family, colleagues and clients.

For me, values are the only way to make a decision when faced with a dilemma with no winning solution. I.e., when your options are equal but different in merit (or failings).

How do you choose between two or more options when there are differing pros and cons with each?

  • First, rule out the clear losers, i.e., the worst options and/or ones that won’t work.
  • Then, reflect on your values, goals and what is important to you. Jot them down.
  • Next, revisit your options with an eye on which of your values are involved.
  • Finally, assess which of the options most closely align with your critical values.

As a leader, knowing what you stand for (and won’t stand for) is critical because you are charting a course through unknown territory all the time. The only decision-making guides you have control over are your values.

Thus, I encourage leaders to get familiar with their values.

A fun, quick and free tool to help with values is the Barrett Values Assessment which gives a lovely report of your top 10. It’s a good place to start although we’d be happy to assist you delve more deeply into values with others tools and techniques as well.

Because the values of small and medium sized organizations often mirror their leaders’ values, another fabulous outcome of learning your values is you get better at recruiting (and retaining) people who fit well into your organization.