Why you should always lead with your values

Your values are an embodiment of your beliefs developed through your life, family and experiences. They are a testament to your true self. Whether or not you’re aware, your values influence everything. They persuade your decision making, how you prioritise your time and when it comes down to it they will always be the final arbiters for all personal and professional matters.

Core Values

When closely analysed, your values help you to determine what you truly want from your life, whilst simulatiously acting as a bench marks, helping you asses whether you’re satified with a current life situation. Examples of core values are;

  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Commitment
  • Being true to your word
  • Humility

It’s a good idea to be clear on what your core values are. Write them down, think about them. understand why they are important to you. This process will empower you to understand all of your decision making processes.

How Our Values Influence Our Decisions

Whether we notice or not our values impact our decisions and life everyday. Here are some examples;

  • Science has shown that the most depressed individuals have made several decisions out of line with their values. In turn the happiest people have made choices that align with their values.
  • Making decisions in line with values, impact the seemingly small (but very important) things, such as not spending time on irrelevant things.
  • The more you make decisions in line with your values the less stressed you feel in other aspects of your life. This is because you stop doubting your decisions and yourself. You know what you’re doing is right for you and you confidently walk on your set path.

How To Best Utilise Your Values

Imagine if simply sitting alone for a few minutes could positively impact the rest of your life. Just writing down your values and getting to understand yourself and your decisions, could make the difference between a happy or a depressed life and equally a successful or unsuccessful career.

So, once you know your values (and there is no limit on how many) do the following things;

1.Prioritise Your Values

Once you have your list, prioritise the ones that are most important to you. As you’re trying to prioritise the values, have this question at the back of your mind: if I have to choose from these, which can go first and which one can I live without?

2. Look to your values everyday

Once you’ve determined what your values are, it’s vital to look to them every day. Let them guide you, because they will anyway. If you allow them to act as your compass, you can be reassured you are on the right path.

3. Be Flexible

There is nothing wrong with changing your list. Self-development is a process which means that you are likely to change. Being flexible and aware of your needs at any given time, is crucial to ruling in line with your values.




How to influence in your emails


Email communication, just like other communication is about influence. The difference with email is that it’s (typically) professional and the objective is to influence the recipient to do something. Here are 5 scientifically supported, psychological hacks to improve the efficiency of your emails;


If you want people to take your command more seriously, express it with absolute certainty. This is called the amplification hypothesis, whereby confident commands are more likely to influence others, so exchange “I think we should” to “clearly, we should”.

2. Utilise Power Words

Power words are everything, they change the entire meaning of an email taking it from a bland easy-to-ignore communication, to an adrenaline-inducing command. Power words such as “you” instantly engage the readers ego. Other examples are “increased“, interestingly this word is overwhelming to readers because it has both negative and positive connotations, depending on how it’s used. Nonetheless, when a reader first reads this word, they become more alert, as their brain attempts to work out whether it’s good or bad.

3. Empathy

Try and lead with an understanding of how someone might feel at any one time. Obviously don’t lie. For example, “I can imagine it’s a hectic time for you, so I hope that xxx will provide some value”, then explain how your objective, will  benefit them. It’s important to not lead with your command. It can generate defensiveness or frustration and it could influence a busy recipient, to ignore you. If you can’t authentically, empathise with your receipient start your correspondence by asking their opinion on a certain task for example, “do you agree this is the best process? this encourages real human interaction.

4. Reverse Psychology

This is best used for those who are rebellious in nature and is not suitable for the more gullible. This method seeks to motivate, stubborn people, using their ego. If you tell someone they can’t do it, often with the ambition of proving you wrong, they will have all the motivation they need to complete the task. Different factors influence different people, the key is to have a good understanding of your recipient at all times.

5. Personalised Value

I don’t just mean use the recipients first name, or refer to a recent conversion you had about their cat. Send them valuable information that could really help them. For example, if they have opened up to you about the difficulties of finding a work-life-balance, with young children, send them an article which discusses this issue. It’s small gestures like these that allow people to be more open and honest with you, when communicating with via email.

The Science of Unlocking your potential

The scientific secret to unlocking your potential is found in a phenomenon known as the Pygmalion effect (a.k.a the Rosenthal effect) As science goes, it’s one of the most straight forward formulas out there; higher expectations lead to better performance.

So, why don’t we unlock our potential more?

The forumla is so simple! So, why don’t we expect more from ourselves? The answer is fear. More specifically, fear of disappointment. We limited our expectations so that we limit our disappointments – he or she who expects nothing, is never disappointed – it stands as a self-protective mechanism, built in by us, that actively hinders our potential.

How to habitually unlock your potential

Instead of figuring out how to work at our best, after a bad outcome, we should embed potential unlocking habits into our daily routines. The absolute key to our development is a shift in mindset surrounding disapointment. We need to start embracing risks of disappointment or failure because avoiding them and as such aiming lower, is not “saving face”, it’s just a way to never face our fears. Disappointment in itself is not a bad thing but instead proof that we aim high, that we respect who we are and have confidence in our own potential.

The Potential Principle

“The Potential Principle” by author Mark Sanborn is about unlocking your imagination to pursue more of your potential. It has been dubbed as the “infallible system to close the gap between how good you are and good you could be.” What this book tells us (much like all the other research on success) is that the only thing preventing one person over another, is mindset. The limit is quite literally our imaginations (and science) and as cheesy as it sounds, if anything is going to stop you from reaching your potential, don’t let it be you.

Why Experiential Learning is the Future


Experiential learning, in it’s simplified form, is learning by doing. Instead of sitting through a presentation (no matter how colourful), fighting to concentrate, you are immersed within the centre of the subject you are seeking to learn. Not only is this method of learning so much more interesting than other learning styles it has the following 7 benefits;

1.Increased Focus

In today’s highly connected, internet age, our focus is constantly challenged. This makes experiential learning more of a necessity, than ever before – it ensures we keep focused on learning and avoid the plethora of easy (digital) distractions increasingly available to us.

2. Practical Experience

Experiential learning bridges the gap between theory and practice. We were fools to think we could leave education and start careers without any issue. Most of our issues come from facing problems that can only be understood “in practice”. Experiential learning helps us to face these problems in the learning stage, with teachers and solutions, instead of unprepared, outside of the learning environment where the consequences are graver.

3. Teaches Entrepreneurial (Soft) Skills

It produces demonstrable mindset changes required for business growth. Henry Mintzberg pointed out that, “Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it”, neither can it be taught on the job, this type of core success skills can only realistically be taught through experiential learning.

4. Encourages Increased Engagement

Experiential learning increases engagement. The learner is submerged into the problem solving activity or event. This increases engagement for obvious reasons such as requiring a high degree of focus for participation but also the immediate involvement increases the level of learner “personal investment” meaning they care more about the outcome.

5. Strong Learner ROI

Exceptionally high level of ROI – experiential learning is effective due to the high level of personal investment. This learning style influences feelings and emotions resulting in a high level of retention – we find it easier to remember how we felt (for example when we got the answer wrong) than abstract information (the actual wrong answer).

6. Provides Accurate Data

Assessing the effectiveness of a new company infrastructure, such as a training program or a process is a crucial element of company growth. However, most assessments are solely data driven and therefore not a true reflection of how it will actually impact a business. Experiential learning, when combined with data can provide invaluable information into how a process will impact a business and further how to train its employees on the new initiative.

7. Offers Personalised Learning

Experiential learning takes learners through the following stages; assessment, teaching, learning strategy and curriculum choice. This model is a radical departure from traditional learning methods as learners can set their own pace. Companies are increasingly combining technology and simulations with experiential learning making this learning style available anytime, anywhere. This has introduced the concept of “flipped classrooms“, where the learning is controlled by the students not the other way around.



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