Values: How To Use Values To Motivate

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
– Roy. E. Disney

Use Values to Motivate

Values are things that motivate us, reflecting our sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and our preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes.

Values, therefore tend to influence our attitudes and behavior.

For example: if you value equality and you join an organization which clearly has different rules for men and women, then you may conclude that the organization is an unfair place to work and either you wouldn’t perform to the best of your ability (being demotivated) or you may end up leaving.

Understanding someone’s values (including your own) and what drives them can be a very powerful tool to help motivate them.

This can be done quite easily by aligning their work (or even what you say to them) to their core values.

How To Use Values To Motivate

Everyone Is Different

All of us have different values, and therefore, different things that drive us.

Some of us are driven by success, some by a desire to learn, some by health and well-being, some by our families, some by religion, some by money (which may not necessarily need to be linked with success), some by fun… the list goes on.

Most of us have many values, however there will be values that are more or less dominant than others and the dominant value or values will be the one(s) that determine(s) in most cases the way you act or behave.

Consider top tennis players – their driving force may be to win a grand-slam event. Motivated by this force, they are able to put themselves through punishing fitness regimes, travel the world, in some cases sacrificing relationships in the attempt to achieve the thing that they value the most.

So what if we don’t know, or don’t care about our values?

Well, first of all they are there anyway and will determine your behavior, you will just be less aware of it.

Secondly you may find that you sometimes struggle to achieve the outcomes you are looking for because whether or not your actions to achieve those outcomes and the outcomes themselves are aligned to your core values is purely down to chance.

Another example: someone who really cares about people, medicine and good health may find themselves in a ruthless environment where they spend very little time with people except when it comes to the part of their job when they have to make people redundant. Whilst they may recognize that they have to show a certain (red) type of character to succeed in their job and they may do so externally and actually be very well respected and good at their job, internally they are in turmoil because the nature of their job conflicts with their (green) core values.

How To Use This Information…

Most importantly know your own true values so that you can be fulfilled in your work, look for where you naturally like to invest your time and energy.

Then consider what drives those around you and see the difference that understanding makes when you need to influence or motivate them.


Values: How To Use Values To Motivate — 3 Comments

  1. Yes values is what is important to us; therefore it drives our priorities and decisions. Knowing our own values is an important components of self-awareness. Also being aware of the values of our family members and friends give us an understanding of their motivations which helps to deepen relationships. Thank you for the post and the examples that illustrate the concept of values.

    • Hmmm (sorry I didn’t reply to this sooner by the way),

      actually, I don’t think so…

      Goals are outcomes you are shooting for so more destinations whereas values are what drive us so these are things that are part of us and with us all of the time.

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