Here in the United States, we left our offices in mid-March ready to spend two weeks working from home.

Now, in August, we’re preparing to spend the rest of the calendar year working from home. We are managing our families, we are worried about our health and mental wellness, and our work-life balance has gone out the window. Amidst back-to-back video meetings and virtual presentations, how do you maintain – or find once again – your sense of purpose before speaking up?

A fascinating study by the University of California demonstrated that people were less stressed before a speech or presentation when they affirmed their core values. Inspired by the findings in that survey, we developed an activity that can help.


The Core Value Statement

1. Make a list of your core values; what guides you in your work? At home? Write them down. Maybe they include resilience, service, or equality.

2. Choose one that really resonates with you right now.

3. Write a paragraph about how you live that value every day.

Once you have your core value statement, read it out loud. Read it right before you log on for an important meeting or presentation. Read it when you are tired and struggling and need to keep your energy up. Let it ground you in a sense of purpose.

With so much negativity surrounding us, finding our own “personal path through the chaos” becomes paramount, as my negotiation professor Brian Mandell at the Harvard Kennedy School used to say.

Let your core value statement help you.