Discovering Someone Else’s Values

Once we understand
our values
, we’re going to have to gauge someone else’s to figure out if
our goals and philosophies are aligned.

Adjust the following
depending upon whether you’re trying to learn about a corporation or an

Do they have a website?  

Go read it. Do they state their values and mission? Great, but keep reading!   

Look at their history or
about pages. What’s their heritage? What facts about themselves have they chosen
to share? Is their website all about
them or more about what they can do for their customers?  

Are there management team
bios? What are their backgrounds? Can
you draw inferences from the make up of their team and how they’re presented? Are there pictures? Are they smiling? 

How do they approach
“selling” prospects on their business? Do they list facts? Do they tell
a story? Do they appeal to intellect,
emotion, or both?  

Do they have a corporate blog? What topics do they discuss? Are
they focused on sales, support, industry happenings, personalities in the company,

Do they speak at industry events? Which ones and about which topics? 

Do they have press releases? What do they feel is
important to share?  

Select the search engine(s) of your choice and look
for them. Are people talking about
them? What do they say? Who are they (customers, employees, partners,

Homework: Compare these
corporate blogs: MojoPages, Southwest Airlines, Direct2Dell, and Marriott on the Move. What can you tell about their cultures from
their blogs? 

If you’re really
adventurous (and patient) repeat this exercise with a few annual reports! 

Now it’s time to interact
with some people! 

If you’re looking for
employment, making a sales call, considering a partnership, you have a people
with whom you can interact.  

Listen to what they say is
important to them. Ask them
questions. Talk in scenarios and
examples. Get references. Of course, they’ll give you the references
they want to give you – so go find some others as well. 

Ask people you know if
they have any experiences with them. 

Look for them (or people
that work with/for them) on LinkedIn. Are you connected?

Call their customer
support line. How do you think their
customers feel calling this number? Would
you want to be their customer? 

These ideas are a start. What else can we do to understand someone’s