The concept of non-negotiable rules is nothing new.
Especially when you look at your own personal life, there is a very good chance that you will hold on to this.
Just think about obliging yourself to exercise, not eating meat, not dating anyone who smokes or setting an alarm clock on the weekends.
Everyone has certain standards, values and/or rules that they consider important and they do everything they can to respect them.

It is therefore not surprising that these rules also appear more regularly on the shop floor.
Even in a professional context these are standards that are non-negotiable.
It concerns things that are set in stone and that everyone accepts.
No following them is not accepted by others in the team.
Only when every colleague is committed to adhering to these standards, will we arrive at functioning, effective and self-managing teams.
We’ll go a little deeper into this today!


Transform your values into rules

It has been proven time and again: people perform better in an organisation that matches their own standards and values.
When you can agree about rules with each other that are supported by everyone and that are directly related to realizing the higher purpose of the organization, you will be able to push yourself to the limits to perform well.

So, it’s about agreed and core principles, more than ‘just’ rules such as ‘getting there on time’.
Core principles inspire employees, create trust in the organisation, help leaders gain respect and perhaps most importantly, ensure clear differentiation between companies.

Four tips to find and maintain your non-negotiables

That is all nice and well, you think, but of course not everyone knows what his or her non-negotiables are and certainly not in a professional context. 

In order to identify them, a deep discovery process usually precedes them.
Often the following four tips are used to identify personal and/or professional non-negotiables.


1 Formulate clarity by writing everything down

When identifying your non-negotiables, whether they are personal or corporate, it is important to write them down clearly. This will make them tangible and ‘real’ faster. It also allows you to make a clear division between ‘important’ and ‘nice-to-have’. It is extremely important that they are clear to everyone in the organization, so concrete examples of good behavior become indicators of how the rules can be applied in real life.


2 Evaluate behavior at regular intervals

Non-negotiables should preferably be stable over time as they are about the core principles. However, how you behave with respect to these rules can evolve as you grow as a person and organization. Make sure the are measurable and communicate them so they become the thermometer of how the values within the company are experienced. 

By evaluating the behavior of each team member in relation to this set of nonnegotiable rules, you ensure that everything you do is in line with the core principles and the purpose of the organization.


3 Stay on the same page

If the company has a clear purpose or direction it is a lot easier to connect the different levels individual or team. Each core principle or NNR is therefore valid at all levels.


4 Communication is key

It’s not just the core principles themselves that need to be well communicated.
Once you apply them, permanent communication about them is a must.

Both when things are going well and when things are not going so well, it is important to communicate enough about them.
Keep talking about the things that are important to you, your team and organization. 

This is essential to establishing and maintaining a genuine connection with your colleagues so that they can support you professionally and personally in your plans and objectives in a sincere way. 


By the way: is someone doing something that is not in line with the non-negotiables? 

Then it is also your responsibility to speak to them about it. 

Only by talking to each other about them will you be able to grow as a team and organization. 


Looking for your non-negotiable rules? Hifluence helps you!


After all, that’s what we are here for! 

Together with you, we will look for what drives your company, what connects your employees and what you are working towards together.




Would you like to get to know our way of working and our team in an accessible and tasty way?

Then book your own inspiring and tasty Lunch & Learn


A weekly dose of tips, tricks and inspiration on unbossing, leadership and life.

Sign me up here!