How staying true to your own personal philosophy can be the most productive method for leading change and creating a more positive work culture.
“Your personal philosophy serves as a compass to align your thoughts, words, and actions. It expresses your basic beliefs and values. Your personal philosophy guides every decision you make, influences the friends you choose, the love you find, the purchases you make, jobs you inhabit, where you live in the world, the way you feel about yourself, and the possibilities you hold for yourself.” – Dr. Michael Gervais, High-Performance Psychologist
What Michael Gervais calls our personal philosophy, many life or career coaches call our core values. These are all ways of answering the question, “What matters to me?” Some coaches say that when you live intentionally by your core values, you experience life more fully.
Sometimes I wonder which comes first: Do we decide how to live based on our core values, or does the way we live reveal our core values?
Align Your Values with What Matters to You
The values and philosophies we hold are the filters through which every thought, idea, action, and word flow. Asking the question, “Do my decisions and actions align with my core values?” is like asking, “Am I breathing today?” The answer is always yes. But, to become the best version of ourselves, we need to intentionally align our values with what matters to us.
A good place to start is to observe our thoughts and actions, especially when things do not go well. Through self-reflection, we ask ourselves, “What do I believe about myself and other people? What matters to me? What are my priorities? What do I fear?” If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll begin to recognize our core values and philosophies for what they are.
The Power of Intentionality for Positive Change
Being intentional about living our values each day can gradually transform our lives, personally and professionally.
We start by observing our values and philosophies and taking an inventory of ourselves. As we meditate and reflect on what we believe, we can consciously replace unproductive and detrimental philosophies with new values that are productive and meaningful.
Becoming intentional about what we value and believe helps inform every decision we make, action we take, and word we speak.
This practice not only moves us towards the best version of ourselves, it can help us make positive changes in our work environments. As leaders, we drive the culture. A work culture that is the best version if itself leads to better recruitment, retention, staff engagement, and ultimately higher quality output and growth for an organization. The results are well worth the effort.