You can probably name your company’s values off the top of your head…
Can you do the same thing with your family’s values?
Do you know what your family stands for and is deeply committed to?
Whether you’re in a committed partnership, have ten kids, or have a friend group that is your sense of “home”, your family is your built-in team. At least, it can be if you want it to be!
With a couple of simple exercises, you can turn your family into an aligned team.
Establishing Family Values
Think of 5 very clear values that are important to you and your family.
Try not to get caught up in the nitty-gritty and debate every single value, simply write down 5 things that come to mind easily and simply.
When something wants to come through you, just let it come.
Here are some examples:
Respect my family
Nourish my body
Expand my mind
Respect my house
Value the earth
Five very clear things.
You can place this paper in a public place within your home, or you can make it the lock screen on your phone. Or you can simply memorize these values. But it’s important to establish these values within your family, the same way you would declare values for your company to ensure that each action you take aligns with these values.
Establishing these values creates a precedent of what your family stands for and is dedicated to.
This gets everyone on your team ( your family members) on the same page.
This way, when someone isn’t honoring your values, you have a north star to refer to and recommit to.
Is your middle schooler’s dirty soccer gear strewn all over the house? Time to address your family’s commitment to respecting your home.
And every family is different! What might be valued in one home may not be valued in yours and that’s perfectly fine! This exercise is about shame or judgment, it’s about establishing purpose and boundaries for your family unit.
An important part of a team dynamic– everyone gets a voice! Invite your family members to the table to present what matters most to them.
You don’t have to agree to your kindergartener’s request for Lucky Charms to be the family’s primary meal, but you can commit to having structured meals together as a way for your family to meet up and bond each week.
Incorporating and treating your children (or younger family members) like actual humans, that have perspectives and points of view is valuable to creating values that work for your entire family.
The values you choose initially do not have to be set in stone! Those 5 values can morph over time, but it will be a family conversation.
The Importance of Shared Commitments
The values you decide upon are what your team is deciding to commit to. They are a set of shared commitments.
This commitment means you are going to do everything in your power, everything in your control to live these commitments.
You can have a conversation with all the members of your family, of your team, and say, “What’s important to each of us, and why is it important, and what do you want to live by?”
An agreement would be clean your room within a certain time frame. In contrast, a commitment is you live in this house and we actively respect our house.
There is a certain spaciousness to a commitment instead of an agreement, but there is also accountability.
You could ask a five-year-old, ‘what does it look like to respect your house?’ That dialogue is one that values accountability and creativity in living your family values.
Establishing your family values and committing to them creates a team dynamic where you are all in pursuit of the same mission. And the beauty of this is that it is uniquely yours. You create the result. You handcraft the result through your intention and follow through.
Teamwork is the integration of we, I, and It.
You are Allowed to have a family that functions as a team.
You are Allowed to create commitments that serve your family best.
You are Allowed to create the life that serves you best.