Business Core Values

“Effectiveness without values is a tool without a purpose.” 
~ Edward de Bono

The first step of creating your brand foundation is getting clear on your core business values.

This requires that you really know what you as a practitioner, and your private practice stand for in this world, and then learn to communicate how these values will benefit your clients.

To live your core values, you first need to know what they are!

Your core values are what carry you through all aspects of your work, and guide your choices and actions – clinically, or from a business perspective. Commitment to these values will provide you with clarity about what is really important, and will benefit you (and your practice) in the future. Additionally, communicating key values to your clients will help them understand who you are, and if you are the right fit for them.

Discovering your core business values can be a bit of a process if you haven’t even thought about them before. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you narrow your list down to your top five core values.

Step 1:

Refer to the Master List of Core Values found in the worksheets and scan through it. Write down / circle each value that you feel resonates with you. At this point you are just trying to get a collection of values to work from – so don’t worry if it starts to look like a large list – we’ll narrow it down.

Step 2:

Now take your personalized list of all the values that resonate with you and start grouping them by distinct theme. Themes could be a similar action or feeling – or anything that feels like a common thread between the values. For example, if you chose “happiness, joy and excitement” you could group these all together because they speak to similar feelings. Patterns may start to arise. You may notice that one grouping has many values listed and some very few. This will become helpful as we move to the next step – narrowing it down.

Step 3:

Take a look at the groups you’ve created and within each start trying to eliminate any duplicates to determine which values really speak to the core of your practice.  In the example above with “Happiness, joy and excitement”, you might like “happy”, but really resonate most with “joy”, so happiness gets crossed out and joy moves on to the next round. Remember, by cutting a value you aren’t saying you don’t value it; you’re just saying it’s not top of the list. Ideally you are trying to get down to one value representing the whole grouping.

Step 4:

Now is the time for brutal cuts. We are trying to get down to your top five business core values.

Remember, these are the values that your practice is built upon, the foundation of who you are as a practitioner. If you get stuck and can’t decide which ones to cut, ask yourself this question – Could I live this value through another value? For example, if you are choosing between “independence” and “freedom” – could you be independent through freedom, or free through independence? If it could go either way then just pick whichever one resonates with you more. You can always change your mind later.

Nothing is written in stone.

Step 5:

Using the worksheet, write out what your top five core values are, why they are important to you in your practice, and how you live these in your life and in your work with clients. Knowing these answers are going to be instrumental in the architecture of your private practice and your branding.  

Action Item:

Share in the  group your Top 5 Business Core Values and how you live them in life and in your practice.