What are Your Core Values?

Did you know that you make judgements about yourself and others based on your core values? And did you know most people are unaware of what those values actually are?

Join JJ and Melissa as they have some fun talking about their own.

January 4, 2022
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Melissa Albers  0:01  
Hey everyone. Welcome to the self awareness Journey podcast. I'm Melissa Albers.

JJ Parker  0:06  
And I'm JJ Parker. This podcast is for seekers, seekers of happiness and joy seekers of a centered approach to success in life. Seekers of their true authentic selves.

Melissa Albers  0:17  
Get ready for some real talk on everything from anxiety, emotions and habits to love, compassion and forgiveness. We know you'll be challenged and enlightened by this conversation. We're so glad you're here. Let's dive in.

JJ Parker  0:38  
I have a question for you.

Melissa Albers  0:38  
Oh, well, do tell.

JJ Parker  0:42  
What are your personal core values?

Melissa Albers  0:46  
Oh, an ambush. Wow, you didn't even get it? Oh, it

JJ Parker  0:51  
knows no warm up here. There's no idle chit chat. What are your core values go straight to the core?

Melissa Albers  0:57  
Actually, I know what my core values are. Ah,

JJ Parker  1:01  
you Slyke it's like this is your job. Alright, so can you rattle them off?

Melissa Albers  1:11  
Yeah. Family is definitely one of my core values. Um, growth is a very big core value. Integrity. And and if I were to label just four, I'd say the last one is actually fun. About you do you know, us are?

JJ Parker  1:32  
No, I actually, I was trying to set you up. And I thought you were gonna like, kind of like fail at that, huh? Yeah. And

Melissa Albers  1:37  
let this last lesson

JJ Parker  1:41  
really backfired on me. Well, in some way, I can just say some of mine. I don't have a such a good list. But to me, like autonomy and freedom. Mm hmm. Is one creativity. Mm hmm. Is one. Oh, that's a good one. No, that's fine, too, that I can come up with off the top of my head. It's hard to figure out what your core values. Yeah,

Melissa Albers  2:06  
you know, yes. You know, I have been many, many conference rooms full of people. 5200 400. And this is an exercise that I've practiced with people many, many years. Yeah. And this is the first way I always enter into the experiment is to say, Do you know what your personal core values are? And you'd be shocked by the number of people that raise their hand. It's very

JJ Parker  2:35  
funny that they do. Oh, that don't that don't know it.

Melissa Albers  2:38  
Yeah, you're right. Sorry. That was a reverse question.

JJ Parker  2:42  
Well, and sometimes, like, when when I have that conversation with people, like they'll give answers, like, I mean, yeah, I have an opinion about core values. Yeah. You know, yeah, I would have thought. I think core values, like, trust worthiness, or, like, some of those are just like, such thin. I mean, there's, they're too thin. They're not really core, right? They might be values, but they're, they're too thin. Like, like, no one runs around and says the opposite. Like, actually, I'm untrustworthy.

Melissa Albers  3:17  
Wow. Yes, but trustworthiness is not a thin value. Okay. But I know it, but I think what you're getting at is,

JJ Parker  3:30  
like, everyone would say they're trustworthy.

Melissa Albers  3:32  
Do you think so? I don't even thieves. No, I don't think no, no. Well, yeah, especially thieves.

JJ Parker  3:43  
Trust me, man.

Melissa Albers  3:45  
I'm so trustworthy. Why have you told me that four times in the last minute and a half?

JJ Parker  3:51  
Okay, so. So in your experience, when you start into a conversation about people's core values? A lot of them you say don't know it, that they don't they are.

Melissa Albers  4:03  
Right, right. Well, and and you know, some people are like, well, this is just idle chit chat, who really cares? Well, maybe people don't think that. But here's what I'll tell you about a core value is that we all have really deep ingrained core values, whether we know it or not. And the reason it's really interesting to know it is because every thing that you think, say and do is measured against what you value, whether you're consciously aware or not. So like using the word Trust, trustworthiness, as a as a core value, if somebody has that as their true value, that trust is super important to them. If somebody tells them a little white lie in conversation to be funny, it could throw that person off where the other person who doesn't have that as a core value, or it's not at the top of their list, they're not thinking about it like that. So it doesn't it doesn't cloud their judgment about some person But if you have a certain core value, you really do make decisions about yourself and others based on what that value. Yes,

JJ Parker  5:07  
yeah. Okay, so I want to hop in, I want to talk about how we come up with our core values. But first, I have a list. You do? Yeah. Okay. I have a list of like eight benefits. Oh, identifying what your core values are? Oh, well, let's go through why, like, so we're talking about core values. Let's go through why we would actually, yeah, want to do that. Like, what? What is the benefit? Oh, cool. So it's

Melissa Albers  5:38  
been a long time since we've done a list.

JJ Parker  5:42  
A few weeks. Okay. So first, values help you find your purpose. Mm hmm. Do you think that?

Melissa Albers  5:48  
Yeah, I think that's very, very true. Because, yeah, that's if you value. For example, if you value your religion, and you value it as one of your top values, then your purpose could very much be driven around working with things in your church, or in your circle that are nonprofits that need your help. And it's a very, very big priority for you.

JJ Parker  6:13  
Yeah. And we've talked about how when you know, what your purpose is? That's, that can get you into a really great spot. Yeah. Okay, two values help you react in different situations.

Melissa Albers  6:28  
Ah, yeah, exactly. So that would be like your example I just used Yeah. But that's, uh, yeah. If, if, for example, I'm just going to throw out examples during these because I have so many, right, so many words, fitness, for example, if you are someone who has a strong personal core value of fitness, and you are with people that are being abusive with their bodies, or certainly not taking care of their bodies, there's a real natural pull away.

JJ Parker  7:03  
You can just make the choice like I don't hang out with these people.

Melissa Albers  7:07  
Just don't want to be around that. I just can't be around that. It's not in alignment with how I feel.

JJ Parker  7:13  
Oh, the dovetail to that is values. Fake help you make decisions. Remember that? That was an example of like a decision? Oh, yeah.

Melissa Albers  7:20  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And and I'll go so far as to say like, when you really know what your top core values are, like, let's say your top five core values are? Oh, boy, does it make it easy to make decisions fast? You're like moving faster in your life? Because you don't get caught up?

JJ Parker  7:37  
Yeah. And I, in a work context, I didn't know how many people go through core values at work. We certainly, like it's yeah, we do it all the time. So in our work context, we have core values, they're written down, everyone knows them. And we hire and fire based on these core values. It's like how we make decisions, like all the time, I'll be in conversations, and people will be trying to make a decision. And they'll say, does that align with our core values? Right? Yes or no? And if it's a no, we don't do it. Right. Right. Um, and it makes it you said, it makes it really easy to decide, right?

Melissa Albers  8:15  
From a work context. Core values are something that most companies will do as an exercise during strategic planning, or once a year or once every couple of years. What's really interesting about core values, so I won't get off on my soapbox too much as it relates to the

JJ Parker  8:29  
one up there. Up there, you know, that so

Melissa Albers  8:33  
that's soapbox was too short. Now I've got a six foot ladder. The thing about core values at work is people are driven by what they think they are supposed to have as a core value. And I think people personal core values are the same way. And they they feel like there are certain labels that they are, quote, supposed to have as a core value, but they don't actually. So sometimes you

JJ Parker  8:56  
may be where I'm talking about thin core values. Yeah, that's where I see thin core values. So we're supposed to have these ones on our wall. Yeah, exactly. You don't you're not acting that way. So why would you? Yeah, those as your core values? Yeah,

Melissa Albers  9:08  
I like I'm always I'm always pushing back on core values and exercises with teams, because they're very seldom starting off in the way that that the words that they're choosing are actually real. They're more aspirational. That's the other thing about core values. By the way, a core value is not an aspirational thing. core value is already so there's already Yeah, so like if people want to say, fitness, right, like, I want to be a supermodel swizzle stick. Right? That's my core value. But I weigh a lot and I don't ever exercise and I love food. But someday. I want that. Okay, so then that is not representative of what you actually value. That's a goal. Yeah, that's an aspiration. Right. So there's a difference there.

JJ Parker  9:56  
I'm a very cool thing. Okay, we'll get off the work soapbox. Okay, shortly. A very cool thing that happened at at our company is we have slack, which is like our internal chat thing. And there's different little different rooms that people chat in. Someone made a room called core value stories. And when an employee or a co worker exhibits one of our core values, someone writes a little like paragraph story about what they observed. Wow, I thought that was like a coolest thing that was like not anything the managers did, or like the leadership team did. It's just like, I don't even know who did it. I should go find out who did it. Wow. But it's awesome. And it's been going on for years. Wow. Yeah, it really highlights the power of, like core value alignment.

Melissa Albers  10:48  
Yeah. And it is interesting, just in the intersection of work core values and personal core values, because that is a natural question that comes up in big team sessions that I'm running, is that people will say, Well, do my do my personal core values have to match my work core values? Or can I have a different value at work than I do? In my personal life?

JJ Parker  11:13  
Yeah, that's interesting. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  11:15  
And and that's, so that's an interesting perspective as well. And it really depends.

JJ Parker  11:20  
Yeah, we had that last week. Last week, I was meeting with some of my business owner buddies, and we're talking about core values. And one of them goes, oh, you know what, like, my personal core values are the same as the company's core values. Yeah, you own the company. They're fairly aligned.

Melissa Albers  11:40  
Oh, my gosh. So they were a little surprised. See? Yeah, like, shocking, like,

JJ Parker  11:45  
Oh, how did this happen? That's weird. Melissa and I are huge self awareness nerds. We've been working on this stuff for a really long time. And we love talking about it and sharing it with all of you. We've actually brought all of the stuff we've made into an online course and we think is really great. The course starts by learning about yourself, and how your mind body connection works. It dives into your thoughts and feelings, and then helps you learn how to become your true authentic self. Start your journey today. Head to the self awareness journey.com To learn more, and sign up

Okay, let's move on. Okay. Number four. Yeah, I'll use help clear out clutter, huh? Yeah. Right. So like many, like, extra baggage in your life? Right? Yeah, identify things that you just maybe just need to get? Get past. Right. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  12:45  
Yeah, I like that, too. And that I just, whenever you say stuff like that, it's so easy to go to the like physical examples like health. You know, like, if you want to be more healthy, you know?

JJ Parker  12:57  
Well, I can I can tell you that for me. Like, like, clearing out clutter. It sounds a little harsh, you know, but certainly, like changing friend groups over the years or Yeah, more fan, kind of like who you're hanging out with on a more regular basis? Yeah. I think our values definitely help you really kind of get get aligned with who you want to be hanging out with and sort of just like, hey, this, this old stuff that doesn't serve me anymore. I'm just gonna move on from that. Yeah. Don't need to engage on that drama anymore.

Melissa Albers  13:30  
Right. And, and your lead indicator is how you're feeling when you're around those people. Yeah, if you're at or when you're making plans with those people, or if there's events that those people are going to be how do you feel about those people? And if you're identifying it, you can also trace it back to is it something within your core value list? Yeah.

JJ Parker  13:49  
Alright, this one will be this one's good. Okay, we're, we're at number five. Okay. Okay. Values help you choose the right career.

Melissa Albers  13:56  
Interesting. Yep. Yep.

JJ Parker  13:59  
So that's a true if I think I can I can see when people are not doing Yeah, thing. Maybe they're not in the right bag. Give this one goes back to the passion thing, right. The values the passion are not quite aligned. Yeah. Just doesn't work out.

Melissa Albers  14:14  
Yep. Yeah, their energy. It just isn't attached to it. So they're so their quality of work or the amount that they invest emotionally is much more minimized.

JJ Parker  14:26  
Yeah. Six values help you develop a sense of self.

Melissa Albers  14:31  
Oh, I love it.

JJ Parker  14:36  
That's pretty interesting. Yeah. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  14:39  
I feel easier to anchor in, I think to the things that really matter to you.

JJ Parker  14:44  
Yeah. And kind of having an opinion about Yeah, about subjects. Right. Yeah. No, your base, right. Yeah, no, no, it's grounding those opinions and, and stances on on things.

Melissa Albers  14:57  
Yeah. And and I would just say at this point, again, everybody But he has core values already, whether you are consciously aware of them or not, you do have them. So I think this number five, five, did you say?

JJ Parker  15:08  
Oh, around 606.

Melissa Albers  15:09  
Yeah, that's that is about that is more about the self awareness piece, right. It's like being really truly aware of what you value.

JJ Parker  15:16  
Alright, number seven values help increase your confidence.

Melissa Albers  15:21  
Hmm. That's an interesting one. I wouldn't have made that leap. But yes, it makes sense.

JJ Parker  15:26  
I think that's true. I think before I really started thinking about what my core values were, yeah, it was like, it was a little bit less stable on one, you know, kind of my opinions and I, and what I was confident about, right, yeah, right. Like, sense. Creativity is one of my core values, and now very confident in everything. Being that

Melissa Albers  15:53  
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's so true.

JJ Parker  15:57  
And eight values help your overall happiness level?

Melissa Albers  16:02  
Yes. Well, that's true, too. If you're operating within your values, and you're not splitting your energy or spending time with people that don't represent your values, or you're in a job that you really, really love, because you value what it stands for, or what you're doing within it. Yeah. Yeah, I,

JJ Parker  16:20  
I totally agree. That's to me that that's like the best if we went through a feature benefits chart. Yeah. That's the best benefit. Right? Yeah.

Melissa Albers  16:30  
It's your overall happiness.

JJ Parker  16:31  
Yeah. makes you happier. Yeah. So that's why you should that's why you should get that's why you should know your core values. Yeah. All right. So how are we gonna figure that out?

Melissa Albers  16:39  
I happen to have two ideas.

JJ Parker  16:43  
Alright, Coach Melissa is gonna watch

Melissa Albers  16:46  
this is that I love this thought I get so excited about this. So I happen to have several tools in my arsenal for using finding words that are related to what a person's value our value is. So the first exercise that I would offer people or idea is to just take out a sheet of paper, and list out everything that you think is one of your core values. And just for fun, I brought this little list of words. And I'm going to list some of them. Sorry, I've got a little frog in my throat.

JJ Parker  17:18  
Okay, and, like, since I was listening, I can't see her, but I can see her. Yeah. She was like deck of cards. Yeah. It's like a deck of cards. Yeah, it's like a value the core values deck of cards.

Melissa Albers  17:30  
Yeah. And I don't have a poker visor on our a cigar, but it would be fun for the visual. Okay. So like, certain words are in this. I'm just gonna list a few to get people like started creatively. Right, right, somehow, yeah. Integrity, recognition, growth, volunteerism, or service. Oh, I love this one. urgency, Huh? Huh, hi, forgot about that word. I'm gonna just say that one might be faith and religion. Status. Simplicity, money. honesty, loyalty. Trust. Family. I'll give just a couple more fitness. Fun, right. So there are probably 75 cards in this deck. So I'm not going to list all of them, obviously. But what I would do is just from those words, if you want to re listen to this part of the pod, again to pull those words out, or you can just like whatever you wrote down, use those as a springboard for some of the other words that you have.

JJ Parker  18:48  
Yeah, for yourself. I'm almost sure if you want a Google's core value. Oh,

Melissa Albers  18:52  
yeah. Giant lists. Yeah, I would make sure I would actually put personal core value words, not just regular core value words, because you'll get all sorts of customer service. Yeah. Yeah, business things. But once you have a list started, just set it down for a little while. And I think that the goal really is to get to a place where you can figure out your top three to five. And I think the really hard part comes when we start because our first list of 20 or however many words we have is, is aspirational. It's aspirational. It's it's stuff that we want to value or we think we are supposed to do to our friends and family relations due to how we've been raised where we were raised. There's a lot that is a should have Shiva, Shiva. Versus it is right. So the real challenge is to get it to three to five words, tops. Yeah. One of the ways that you can always tell what you're actually valuing is look at your calendar, and look at your checkbook. That's true.

JJ Parker  20:07  
Your research and those in those two spots, wherever you're

Melissa Albers  20:11  
spending the most of your time, is what you value, wherever you're spending the most of your money, is what you value, even if it's within your house, because you value, your stability, and you value things in your home, your family. So those are kind of, that's a quick way to do that. And once you've got that 20 down, start to get rid of words. And they don't mean that those words aren't important to you, it just means that those aren't your real core key ones. And see if out of those words, you can identify the top three to five, that's one way. Okay? The second way is, I cannot tell you how many people when they go through this conversation for the first time, they have no idea, they have no idea or they'll look confused and and not really know. And the idea of trying to evaluate themselves depending on their own awareness, or depending on how they if they are judging, if they can't observe, if they're in too much judgment, they may not even be able to make much progress in trying to figure out just by identifying in themselves. So another really great way to figure out your core values, if you feel like you're one of those people, is to make a list of people that you really look up to in your life. And what people in your life do you consider to be really strong mentors for you. There may only be one or two people, that's fine. And really identify what did they do for you? Or what is it about them? That you find? So appealing? Yeah, and what are you connecting and attaching yourself to that person for? And then, and here's the fun part about that. That is your value, whatever you say about that person is what you value the most like, that person was taught me they were a teacher, you know, so you value learning you value people that come alongside and help you like, that's a huge value. Yeah, that's

JJ Parker  22:09  
really interesting. Like the other week we talked to about mentors, right? Yeah, exactly. So like what, like mentors in your life? Like what drew you to them? Right, right. Yeah, fire about them? Yeah, they're probably the things that are your core values.

Melissa Albers  22:24  
So I asked you a question. Do you think your core values change?

JJ Parker  22:27  
Oh, that's a good question. That's a good question. I'm not sure. I'm trying to I'm trying to think of that for myself. You know, if if they've changed, or if I've just been more like aware of what they are as I get older, huh. Yeah, I don't know. I

Melissa Albers  22:49  
get asked that a lot. And I was just curious to hear what you would say about it. It

JJ Parker  22:56  
feels like that's that they shouldn't really change to me. Hmm. But I, you know, I do think people do grow quite a bit through life. And I think that I think that if you are in a growth mindset through your life, yeah, your core values are likely to change. Yeah, I as you move through the journey, I like

Melissa Albers  23:20  
that. i It's so funny, because we both talked over each other. And we both started to sentence with I feel, and you are saying exactly the opposite of what I was gonna say, Oh, really? Yes. I feel like they shouldn't change. But I was gonna say, but then you sort of changed your mind? Or you sort of said, well, I think as you develop, they do, actually, some of them anyway, you know, maybe one or two of them are your anchor cores that aren't going to change at all. Yeah, but I like one of the examples. In my earlier when I had the authentic leader at the very early stages, and I had a team of people and admin, we were going through this example and trying to figure out what the core values for the company were. And one of the one of the words that was really important to me was courage. Now, but I reflect back on that it was over 20 years ago. Mm hmm. And I was a younger woman, business owner. Mm hmm. And I was instructing and informing, teaching and speaking to older individuals than me, most of them. And a lot of men, older, mostly men,

JJ Parker  24:35  
mostly well into their career.

Melissa Albers  24:38  
Yep. And so courage was a very important thing for me, and I was acutely aware of my feelings of Oh, like, I just don't feel quite good enough. Like, oh, you know, so

JJ Parker  24:48  
that sounds like what you're saying earlier, like, that was an aspirational core value.

Melissa Albers  24:54  
But well, yeah, so that's interesting, because I realized that in order for me to do my job well I had to have courage, I had to have courage. And I really practiced it. And it stayed in the forefront of my mind for a really long time. And maybe the manifestation of it wasn't very smooth, right? I may have looked a little like I had, like, I was being a little scrappy kid on the T ball. Gun, third base. But I do think, though, that over time, like, I don't even think about that anymore. Hmm, you know that I don't know whether I would place that as one of my top core values anymore. Although I do value and I see people being courageous. So maybe it just sort of shifts in importance. You know, maybe we operate with the same kind of the same little bucket of values, and they just sort of surface to the top more, depending on where you are in life.

JJ Parker  25:50  
Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty interesting. Yeah. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  25:54  
It's well worth doing a little dive, I think. And, and, yeah, figuring out what your real value is. And is it? Is it truth, or is it aspiration?

JJ Parker  26:05  
I got one more question for you. Oh, yeah. Wait, that would have been a good ending right there. I'm gonna string the podcast along. All right. We talked about company core values. Yeah. We talked about personal core values. Have you done? A family's carve out? Family core values with your family?

Melissa Albers  26:26  
Um, you that is such a good question. Yes. Anyone?

JJ Parker  26:31  
Anyone? It would be you, right? Like, I don't I've never heard of anyone actually doing this. Well, like if anyone would have done it at a venue. Well,

Melissa Albers  26:38  
it's funny that you asked because you know, me I have such a terrible memories like work amnesia. Well, I had work amnesia again, because I was gonna say no, and then it's like, oh, no, yeah, we did this. Yeah, you did. So yeah. So

JJ Parker  26:48  
we sat down and as a family and had a strategic planning session.

Melissa Albers  26:53  
We did as a family, only because three out of the four of us are highly introverted. So what we did is we email, we all individually did the exercise, when nobody else was around. And then we did come together as a family and share what some of the words were. Our kids were young, like they were in. Yeah, junior high at the time. It was really fun to do that, actually. And so we had fun with it.

JJ Parker  27:18  
That would be an interesting exercise. I might I might try that. Yeah, yeah. Family, see how it goes. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  27:24  
And and it is fun to do it have the reason I wanted the kids to do it alone is I didn't want them to be informed by their parents. You know, I didn't want them to think they had to do or say or be anything. So that would have been the aspiration instead of the real. Yeah, yeah.

JJ Parker  27:39  
Very cool. What a fun conversation.

Melissa Albers  27:40  
It is. It's awesome. Well, good luck, everybody looking for your core values. I think you have a lot of fun with that.

JJ Parker  27:45  
Did you enjoy this episode? Please go to your favorite podcast platform to subscribe, rate and leave a review so others can discover it as well.

Melissa Albers  27:54  
Growing self awareness is a lifelong journey, and there's always further to go. And it's better when we're all in it together. Please think of someone you know who could benefit from hearing today's conversation and share this episode with them. We can't thank you enough for listening. Until next time, happy exploring seekers.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Discussed in this episode

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Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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