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Using Values to Make Decisions

by Jim Jensen, FSA

I think that someone’s values should make up a good part of their personal brand.  While some people may simply think of me in terms of the things they see me do, my hope is that others have taken a little deeper and more thoughtful look to see me as who I am as defined by the values that I try to live my life by.  I make that pretty hard to do if I haven’t articulated those values for myself and I make it even harder when my decisions and actions are inconsistent with those values.

At Think2Perform, we have a simple but amazing process called the Values Cards exercise that helps people articulate their personal values.  After going through that process many times over the past few years, I’ve personally settled on: caring, helping others, meaningful work, re-invention and wisdom as my top five.  Knowing them has been a good thing which has helped me make better and aligned decisions – but I’ll honestly admit that I’ve often acted inconsistently with them and probably confused those who were trying to figure me out.

Why do I do that?  Sometimes I simply forgot about them and what my decisions or actions were expressing to others and sometimes I let my emotions cloud my thinking.  The good news is that when I do stop to consciously think about my values and who I truly want to be, my emotions tend to come under control and I honestly think I make better and more aligned decisions.  Looking back, those are my best decisions and the ones I truly feel good about.

If you want to get a better grip on your own values, give better clues to those around you and make even better decisions, click here and start your journey.

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