Companies, teams, groups etc have values. Often, they are embossed on a plaque in the headquarters building. They might be frequently referenced. How they are lived though might be a different question. And then of course each individual has values, and how these correlate is worth exploring.

Values sound great. Really, most of them do, and if a specific thing is something you value too (pun intended), it will resonate strongly. Often, we go exclusively by that resonance, that warm fuzzy feeling of resonance, without actually going a level deeper to have that conversation. Don’t run this on assumptions. First of all, these conversations can be a great way to build trust, and they help set the stage for collaboration as you mutually explore what is important for you.

What do you as individual and as organization mean by “collaboration”, or “freedom” or “competition” or “trust”? What gets rewarded/sanctioned based on that in that specific work culture? And, if these (and other values are true), how are you planning to navigate the space, e.g. when their freedom bumps up against yours.

These things will happen. Being clearer about values and having a base with these conversations will make it easier to sort things out as work relationships evolve. They are also fantastic measures to build trust and cohesion. Start when things are going well so you will have that base when you need it come crunch time.

What is your experience in having these conversations? How has clarity about values helped? What else would you have needed?

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