The Importance of Values in Relationships

I listened to a great web broadcast on combating domestic violence this evening at

One of the most important factors in defining the success of a relationship is the common set of values the parties share. For example, if both parties value the environment, then it is obvious that they would have something in common. Similarly if they both were interested in the same sport, then conversation would easily flow around their shared interest.

However if one person values an extravagant lifestyle, and the other values thrift, then they could well have a source of conflict. It is obvious when you think about it, except most people might not even consider it.

The same goes for relationships in the workplace both between colleagues, and with managers and managed. If the manager values brevity but the managed likes to talk around the subject, to establish report before broaching a difficult subject, you can see how this could be a problem. If the company values honesty, but the senior management show little regard for it, then they would have no creditability with the workforce.

Here are a few simple tips to help:

  • Communicate honestly; Credibility is crucial and must be built over time in routine interactions.
  • Listen to concerns. Be available and attentive when employees approach them.
  • Address problems promptly. If the problem requires time to resolve, tell the employee that and update them periodically.
  • Act professionally. Leaders must be consistent in their treatment of employees.

If you want to find out how important values are in relationships, try this little exercise. With your partner, list the top four things you each value in terms of Life, Relationships, Work and Finance. Work separately, and then compare your lists. The differences can be quiet revealing!

What is important to you about life in general: good health and physical fitness, freedom, a sense of accomplishment, fame, travel, mental vitality, recreation and play, learning, the arts, music, creative endeavors, reading, learning, spirituality, religion, helping others, protecting the environment, nature?

What is important to you with other people: love, trust and honesty, respect from others, loyalty, family, many or few close friends, marriage, sexuality, companionship?

What is important to you in your work: challenge, ownership, recognition, high learning curve, adequate free time, interesting work, stability, control, creativity, minor stress?

What is important to you regarding finances: owning nice things, retirement, having extra money for travel or leisure, being financially secure, being debt-free, being wealthy?

If you are interested in finding out more about relationships, you should check out the Dr Phil site. Click here to read Dr Phil’s Personal Relationship Values

For more information on combating domestic violence, click here to visit