The demise of Enron raises questions about values in business. The media often portray this as a question of good vs. evil. That sells easily and makes a good story. If you stop and think about it, though, most people don’t get into trouble in these cases because they’re evil. It’s more likely that their values are out of balance. Out of Balance Values
Having your values out of balance means being focused on one goal to the exclusion of others. Have past jobs rewarded you for high achievement in risky situations? You may just not be aware of how your actions are affecting others, because your attention has been exclusively focused on achievement and managing risk. You may be puzzled why other people don’t seem comfortable in your presence. It may be that your actions have affected them in ways they don’t like and that you are not aware of. You may find yourself in conflicts with others and not knowing why. You could address this by taking a workshop in which you learn to put more attention to others’ reactions, or by taking on a project that requires you to collaborate with others. The key is to work for balance in your life. High achievement and risk taking are not “bad” values. However, like any others they can become problematic when you focus attention on them to the exclusion of others.
How Do You Know?
How can you tell if your values are out of balance, or if you’ve got blind spots that may not serve you well?
One method for getting a handle on unconscious habits and unbalanced values is with the services of a good business coach.
With the proper skills, a coach can help you discover:
Unbalanced values and unconscious habits can be harmful in business; however they aren’t a matter of “good vs. evil”. You can avoid many conflicts by discovering your core values and unconscious habits and learning to make conscious decisions about how to react in difficult situations.
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