What are your accidental values? The behavioural traits that you spontaneously exhibit on a day-to-day basis (read more about values here). The traits you show when you are not consciously thinking about your behaviour.
Accidental values don’t belong to just individuals, they are also exhibited by an organisation on a daily basis. How people communicate with each other, how they engage with their customers, what gets attention within the organisation and what gets celebrated. Another term for this would be the company’s culture. How people conduct themselves within the working environment and how they engage with each other are behavioural traits which stem directly from the company’s value system. The company’s accidental values that is, not their stated values.
If a company’s stated core values are not ingrained in the working environment and day to day behaviour, if the majority of people within the business are not walking the talk, then this is were you might find yourself wanting to shift jobs and even careers. There may be a clash in values.
Before confirming that difference of values and beliefs are a reason for your need to shift jobs, ask yourself the following.
- What are my core values? Am I aware of them and do I try to live them everyday?
- What are my accidental values? This one may be quite tricky as there is a fair bit of self-reflection and honesty required. You may even ask a trusted colleague for their honest feedback and input.
- What are the company’s core values? How do these compare against the daily accidental values? In other words, are these core values applied everyday?
- Who and what gets attention and why?
- What is the customer feedback saying?
- What gets discussed at the water cooler by the staff?
- How different are my values, core and accidental, from the company’s values?
You may have discovered that when reviewing the behaviour level in last week’s post that you were faced with similar questions and thoughts.
If this exercise confirms a need to change, what action plan do you need to implement and how would you prevent this from happening again in your next position?