For all of us, our values will fall into one of two categories. There are the ones that come so naturally to you that you’ll probably find it hard to understand how others don’t embrace them like you do. Then there are the values that you might need to work a bit harder at. It’s possible to change this, but it can be hard to learn new things – how can we do it? The graphic (below) shows what happens when we learn something new.
We need Commitment to take that first step. We’ve got to want to expand our comfort zone and give it a go. How much better will your life be if you can achieve the goal you’re setting yourself?
When it comes to living our values it’s about seeing that we can make the lives our customers and colleagues – and even those at home - better if we can develop a value we find tricky.
Next we need Courage to get us through the ups and downs of learning something new. When we’re out of our comfort zone it can be tempting to give up when things don’t go as we’d hoped. But that frustration you feel when you make mistakes as you learn is a good thing – it means your brain is primed to learn and change, so when you feel frustrated it’s actually the best time to keep trying!* Pick yourself up, patch yourself up and have another go.
With courage and commitment we will start to improve and develop our Capability. The more we practice, the better we’ll learn our new skill and we’ll soon start to see results. Celebrate any little successes you have – just the act of celebrating will reinforce these little changes and give you the encouragement you need to crack this new skill.**
The more successes we have, the more our Confidence that we can do this thing grows, and before you know it, we can’t remember a time when we couldn’t. And hey presto! – we have achieved what is called unconscious competence – in other words, we can do something without even thinking about it. We soon become slick masters of this new skill and can even show others how to do it too.
So why is this important when it comes to values? It’s because we are all at different places on the journey. Something you find hard to master may be easy for others, and vice versa. But have hope - you can achieve anything if you commit to learn and have the courage to improve something. You also have to be prepared to feel a bit uncomfortable, and to stick with it as you refine your skills until it comes naturally to you. If we all apply this to developing just one of our values, imagine how much we can improve in Persona.
*Andrew Huberman, Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine
**BJ Fogg 'Tiny Habits'