Have you got sticky behaviours?

Rugby players in a huddle

How do your behaviours align with your values?

Most organisations have a set of values that provide a basis from which decisions, actions and strategy are formulated. Many organisations are rightly proud of their values and work hard to share them with colleagues, clients and suppliers alike. But how many values are truly understood?

We ask many of our clients the same question:

“What are the demonstrable behaviours that represent your values?”

More often than not, we receive a slightly embarrassed blank stare in response. Sometimes we receive an enthusiastic response for the first couple of values on their list which peters out towards the third and fourth values.

In a breath of fresh air, one client told us last week, “we don’t want ‘blah’ values, we want clear values that can be linked to sticky behaviours”. We absolutely agree – everyone needs sticky behaviours! But what does this mean in practice?

We heard a great example when we attended the High Performance Coaching Day last month. They told us a story about the England rugby team. We learnt that England Rugby has ‘Respect’ as one of their values. But, behaviours linked to ‘Respect’ vary from player to player. To solve this, the whole squad were brought together and asked to collectively agree what ‘Respect’ meant to them. What would you expect? Perhaps being polite to one another…. Perhaps treating everyone equally, from grounds-people, to cleaning staff, from press officers to head coach…?

In fact, the squad decided that ‘Respect’ was demonstrated most clearly by being on time. Placing an emphasis on the importance of punctuality demonstrated respect for everyone else involved in the development meeting, the training session, the journey to a game or the dinner that had been arranged. And fantastically, this meant that respect could be measured and the squad were able to hold themselves accountable for continual improvement in this area.

How are your values played out by your teams on a daily basis? Can they be interpreted in different ways? Are expectations clear to everyone? Are values demonstrable and measurable?

By identifying and collectively agreeing on sticky behaviours, we’re sure that your performance will sail over the crossbar! Come and find out how, we look forward to scrummaging with you…

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