Our lives are steered by our principles. By definition, a principle is a personal or specific basis of conduct or management. In other words, principles are behind every choice we make. When we understand our personal principles, we will have a better idea about our behavior, decisions, and choices.
Because everyone operates from the basis of their principles, it’s important to understand the principles of those with whom you work and relate. If you are in a working relationship with someone with different principles, conflict is inevitable. The only way to avoid conflict is to clearly identify your principles and the principles of those with whom you relate.
This is a tough assignment because many people have a set of stated principles that form a façade behind which the real principles exist. For instance, few people will admit that the bottom line is more important than customer satisfaction, yet many leaders focus only on statistical data. They place more emphasis on quantity than on quality.
Over time, your personal principles become obvious. The same is true about the people with whom you work and relate. This is a contributing factor to the fact that Americans change jobs every 27 months. Differences in personal principles start to show in 18-24 months. Many people find themselves in a situation where they must be willing to compromise their principles in order to keep a job. However, a principle that can be compromised isn’t really a principle at all.
You can’t do anything about the principles of other people, but you can identify your personal principles. What are those things about which you refuse to compromise? What are those values that form the foundation of your decisions and actions? Understanding your principles is critical to understanding your why because your real purpose in life connects to your principles. Think about it!
What are three foundational principles that guide your life? When have you been challenged to compromise your principles? How did you respond?