Deep down, there are particular things each of us care about. We call them values. It is a sad reality that many people do not know their values, have not named or discovered them.
There is no way to live a meaningful life without being intentional about living out of your values.
This is true for organizations as well as individuals. We often talk about culture as “the values communicated within an organization”. Even if we go through the hard work of knowing our values, we still have to figure out effective ways to clearly communicate them to one another. This is true for organizations hoping to get on the same page and individuals longing to express their truest self.
Actions speak louder than words. You can tell someone you value truth or vulnerability or whatever it is that matters most to you. And that is important. You ought to communicate your values through your words.
But nothing communicates value more than modeling the value. People love stories. They love seeing people in their own stories. They are watching and paying attention, even when it does not seem so. We measure what we see with what we hear. Making sure the two align when it comes to communicating your values cannot be overstated.
Our society is so focused on negativity. But celebration is still the most powerful tool we have. What gets celebrated gets repeated.
If you want to communicate value, be mindful of what you are celebrating. Tell people when you see them acting out of a value. If you only speak up to complain, in a weird sort of way you are celebrating imperfection. People will be hurt and find some sort of way to rebel. They will repeat (in their own way) the negativity you seem to be celebrating.
If we celebrate physical appearance and money, we are communicating those as the most valuable ideals. If we want to communicate truth and unity as our deepest values, we have to give them the same sort of attention.