I have just had a business meeting it was a lovely experience! How often can you say that? After many years in meetings where everybody was motivated by the bottom line or more often than not, perpetuating the vicious and unproductive circle of keeping their line managers happy for an ‘easy life’, it was so refreshing to have a conversation with somebody who runs a very successful local business who wanted do the business, but also genuinely wanted to work ‘together’.
It may seem obvious to some, but this may be down to the fact that both they and I share the same values highlighted by the fact that I had not heard the expression ‘I am heart-led’ in a business meeting before. Some may be critical of this ‘fluffy’ approach to doing business, but I am far more likely to not only enjoy working, but also work successfully with somebody whose values I share. It could perhaps understandably be argued that this ‘heart-led’ approach may not be the best business model in some fields of work like investment banking, however the principle of commonly shared values would still stand.
For example, have you ever had to go to the doctor and been rushed through like a number with no sense that you are being treated like a person with real concerns about your health? The doctor has many patients and is busy and you accept that to some degree. But what if a different doctor in the same surgery under the same time pressures, took the time to actually listen to you and pay attention and then talked to you, as opposed to at you. Which doctor would you prefer to see? What made you come to that conclusion? Would you be more likely to want to speak to that same doctor next time you have to visit a medical professional? Which doctor shared your values? When did you last consider what your values are?
It’s election time in the United Kingdom and our MPs are currently asking for our vote. How will we choose to do that? Will it be based on how much extra we have to pay for cigarettes, alcohol or petrol? On how much money we can save from not paying too much in tax? On the parties’ commitment to more nurses, hospitals, police officers, teachers, schools and hospitals?
Everybody’s different and everybody has their own set of values. Which of the parties shares our values? How will that impact on our vote? Whether in a business meeting, visiting a doctor’s surgery or voting in an election, our values are the very essence of who we are. If our values are not in line with or compromised by how we live our lives, then perhaps it is no surprise that we may be unhappy with certain aspects of our lives.
But what if our values were in line with how we lived our lives, whether quality or quantity, how much more could we achieve? And how much happier would we be?