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How principles can impact goal achievement

Principle preference
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Professional preferences

A principle preference refers to the innate need to work in a company culture or for a leader whose values and principles are closely aligned with the employee or to work with a purpose and goal orientation regardless of principles within the culture. For those high in principle preference, it is difficult for them to work for leaders they do not believe in or for a company they perceive is doing wrong or acting in an unprincipled manner. For those low in principle preference, they see that values and principles can be flexible and perhaps being flexible on a few principles is sometimes necessary to achieve the objective or goal, or simply get the job done.

Understanding your strength of principle preference can help you aim for a company culture suited and matching your own values or allow you flexibility in joining any company that is ambitious and goal driven. Share this knowledge with your manager, to help them understand the type of leader or role that would match your values, enabling your manager to ensure your role suits your professional preference.

You are highly principled and are not prone to flexibility on what you believe. Sometimes obstinate but always persistence you will fight for your principles and challenge authority if your values are opposed. You prefer to act within pre-established guidelines. Loyalty is more important to you and commitment to promises made, rather than reaching your goals, and you can be counted on to be generous, honest and dependable. You will try to influence an outcome through transparency and care, rather than fear or threat, to build trusting relationships with your colleagues.

How people higher on the scale are motivated

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You are highly principled and are not prone to flexibility on what you believe. Sometimes obstinate but always persistence you will fight for your principles and challenge authority if your values are opposed. You prefer to act within pre-established guidelines. Loyalty is more important to you and commitment to promises made, rather than reaching your goals, and you can be counted on to be generous, honest and dependable. You will try to influence an outcome through transparency and care, rather than fear or threat, to build trusting relationships with your colleagues.

Actions for people higher on the scale to improve

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Ensure you take a role in a company culture that aligns to your principles and values, or the work environment will create a vast deal of stress as you try to reconcile the job at hand against your principles. Consider re-evaluating your values for your own personal development, and readjusting principles with a new experience. When delivering a project ensure your values and stance match that of the project and the deliverable. Set and clarify expectations so that you can ensure your inclination to meeting all commitments will not hinder achieving the goal. Share your feelings about things that concern you or misalign to values so that others are aware of your boundaries and limitations.

Improvement checklist for people higher on the scale

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  • Do you work for a company you believe in?
  • Do you work for a leader you believe in?
  • Are you firm on your non-negotiable values and principles?
  • Are there principles which could be adjusted based on new evidence or learnings?

How people lower on the scale are motivated

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You have a flexible interpretation of what is right and what is wrong, which means you are more purpose-oriented than principle-oriented. You do not put principles ahead of getting a job done. To achieve your goal and purpose you will be flexible in your commitments, may let some people down, all with a view that it is better to meet the deadline, the goal, the achievement and output than to cater to the whims of others. Often confident and assertive, and comfortable using manipulation to get ahead.

Actions for people lower on the scale to improve

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Communicate consistently the goals of the project so that others are bought into what you will drive to achieve. And so they also understand where you may cut corners and overlook commitments to ensure you achieve goals, to ensure that you do not damage relationships or bypass regulatory commitments in the process. While it is easy for others to judge you for your perceived lack of “loyalty” or for breaking promises, it is crucial for you to be present to ensure that goals are actually achieved where possible. Foster a culture of clarification and explanation as you proceed on your course of action.

Improvement checklist for people lower on the scale

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  • Do you break promises regularly?
  • Do you communicate and clarify regularly?
  • Do you understand which commitments are non-negotiable?
  • Are you aware of the commitment boundaries you can be flexible in?


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I enjoy exploring my “inner self"

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I often reflect on my feelings

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Others would benefit from reflecting more on their thoughts

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I am interested in analysing the behaviour of others

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It is important to understand why people behave in the way they do

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When I’m feeling uncomfortable, I can easily name these feelings

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I am often on auto-pilot and do not pay much attention to what I am doing

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When things go wrong, I often think about them constructively for long periods of time

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I tend not to look back and think about how I could have done things better

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