Clarifying Your Core Values

Values

 

A key element of “knowing thyself” is sorting out what’s really important to you. Without a clear sense of your personal principles and priorities, it’s almost impossible to bring the picture of your preferred future sharply into focus. Investing the time and effort to uncover and articulate your personal principles has many important benefits.

You’ll have a strong foundation to build your leadership upon. James Kouzes and Barry Posner’s study of credible and effective leaders led them to conclude, “Values are directly relevant to credibility. To do what we say we will do (our respondents’ behavioral definition of credibility), we must know what we want to do and how we wish to behave. That’s what our values help us to define.”

Clear personal principles give you a much stronger sense of your personal “bottom-line.” Knowing where you stand clarifies what you won’t sit still for.

It’s easier to make choices between conflicting opportunities that arise, where to invest your time, what behavior is most appropriate, and where you need to concentrate your personal improvement efforts.

You’ll be much closer to finding your personal energy source and developing that critical leadership passion.

Your self-identity, self-confidence, and sense of security will be strengthened.

Your principles will provide the stable and solid core you need to transform the rapid changes coming at all of us from terrifying threats into exciting opportunities.

You can more clearly see to what extent your personal values are aligned with your team and organization’s values.

To clarify your core values, develop a comprehensive list of all your possible values. Now rank each one as “A” (high importance), “B” (medium importance), “C” (low importance). Review your A and B values. Are there any that you feel are essentially the same value or one is an obvious subset of the other? If so, bring them together and rename it if necessary. Rank order the remaining list from highest through to lowest priority. You should now have your top five core values.

FOCUSING ON YOUR CORE VALUES:

Ask yourself whether these are your true, internal “bone deep” beliefs or an external “should” value. We often don’t recognize a lifetime of conditioning that has left us with other people’s belief systems. Replace any “should” values with your own.

Examine each core value to ensure that it is your end value and not a means to some other end. For example, wealth is seldom a value in itself. It’s usually the means to status, power, security, recognition, freedom, accomplishment, pleasure, helping others, or some other end value.

Write out a “statement of philosophy” that outlines and explains each of your core values. This is for you own private use, so be as honest and candid as you can.

These exercises are rarely done quickly. It could take you dozens or even hundreds of hours to sort through the “shouldas”, “oughtas” and “couldas” and get to your basic, core principles. The more meditation, contemplation, and writing time you put into this, the truer and more energizing your core values will become.

“VALUING” YOUR LIFE AND OTHERS

Your values largely affect how you behave and how others perceive
you. Identifying them is important to understanding what makes you effective, satisfied and personally successful. Once you are aware of the dominant attitudes contributing passion and purpose to your life, you will be able to clarify what drives your actions, as well as what causes conflict. For example, if you are currently questioning whether you are in the right career, knowing your attitudes will help you decide. In addition, applying an understanding of attitudes to your relationships with others will deepen your appreciation of them and clarify the “why” of your interactions.

Another way to learn more about your “values” which are your intrinsic motivators, you can take an assessment. To learn how visit http://www.thejenksgroup.com or call 858 525-3163.

 

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Workplace Assessments Are Fair — If They Come With Adverse Impact

assessment

 

 

On Sept. 29, The Wall Street Journal published the article, “Are Workplace Personality Tests Fair?” The article scrutinized the use of “personality” tests and highlighted two accusations of discrimination against a variety of retailers that used various tests as part of a hiring process. The case is under review by the EEOC, which is conducting an investigation of “personality tests,” according to the WSJ article.

Having spent the last three decades in the assessment industry, I am moved to respond.

I applaud the WSJ for taking a closer look at those who provide these sorts of personality tests, particularly those organizations that refuse to comply with federal regulations and provide adverse impact studies. Click here to read our white paper regarding adverse impact and its implications.

These studies are a requirement and best practice for anyone doing business in the assessment realm.

Adverse impact studies provide evidence there is no adverse impact — that no one could be discriminated against — in the use of assessments. It is essential in the assessment industry.

The purpose of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is to enforce (for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners) the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the federal government.

As a company, TTI has been aware of the need for a comprehensive adverse impact study that includes much more than race and gender. That’s why we began collecting data over 10 years ago on 13 additional categories of protected classes in addition to gender.

In 2012, we released our initial adverse impact study findings and encouraged our distributors to share these findings with their clients. We regularly revisit these studies to ensure there is no adverse impact against any group and provide updates to our VAAs and their clients.

There must be more accountability in the assessment industry regarding adverse impact.

Sadly, not all assessment companies invest the time and resources to produce adverse impact studies, nor do they base their instruments on deeper scientific understanding and data. Those who don’t risk the reputation of an industry that seeks to eliminate bias from the hiring process and uplift rather than discriminate against individuals.

As the WSJ article stated — and several of the companies using assessments noted — when implemented according to federal guidelines and using a basis of sound science and research, assessments help to empower all and discriminate against none, creating job match, greater employee happiness and better workplace environments.

Our commitment to integrity and research mandates the use of adverse impact, and we encourage all similar companies to commit to the same.

To answer the WSJ’s primary question: Yes, the use of assessments is fair – but unfortunately too many companies place themselves in jeopardy by not using assessments with robust adverse impact studies and based on additional anti-discriminatory research.

It would be wise of companies to scrutinize the structure of any and all assessments and educate themselves on the methodology of the instrument they are using, as well as demand a current adverse impact study with EEOC and OFCCP compliance.

assessments, behavior, employee engagement

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill J. Bonnstetter is chairman of TTI Success Insights and founder and chairman of Target Training International. He is considered one of the pioneers in the assessment industry because of his significant contributions to the research and study of human behavior. @bbonnstetter