What are your cultural values, and how do they impact your behavior in the workplace? Your cultural values are made up of the norms and expectations you grew up with, and are rooted in your family and community. If you were raised to be humble, you may abhor bragging and self-promotion, instinctively shying away from mentioning your accomplishments. If you were raised to respect authority, you might find it difficult to disagree with your boss. The problem with these instinctive behaviors is that they run counter to what is necessary to progress in many organizations. Understanding your cultural values and developing the skills you need to be most effective in your organization will give you the power to choose your behaviors. Identify and understand your cultural values, and be intentional about your behaviors.

To better understand your cultural values, think about how you treat people and how you expect to be treated. Consider your approach to communication, conflict, and relationships. Evaluate your assumptions about time, decision-making, and hierarchy. Now, think about your organization – are your standards and expectations in line with those of the leaders and others in your organization? Identify areas where there is misalignment and decide whether it’s worth it to develop the attitude and skills that will allow you to behave in a way that may be more effective. Be open to learning, and be willing to stretch outside your comfort zone. If you were raised to be humble, find a way to modestly share the facts about your accomplishments with those above you. If you were raised to defer to authority, it’s time to develop the skill of being able to express your point of view, respectfully, with people more senior to you. To create the career you want, be aware of your cultural values and choose the behaviors which allow you to stay true to yourself and be most effective in your workplace.

More information on this tip can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want

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