Values (per Collins English Dictionary) are the moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person. Another definition is that a value is a principle or standard, as of behaviour, that is considered important or desirable
A core value is only a true core value if it has an active influence and if you manage to live by it. Going against a core value shall be rare and require a conscious decision.
Most people consciously or unconsciously use their personal core values when they select friendships, relationships and business partnerships.
Your core values are a natural selection tool. Is this action/person/job aligned with my core values or not?
Our core values can often be deal breakers, if people don’t share them it becomes harder to relate.
An away-from value, for instance dishonesty, is usually something that breaks or blocks trust.
How do you work with this assessment?
1. Pick your core values, no more than five. See list with examples of values below.
2. If you want to, pick some away-from values, what are you not willing to accept. Maximum three.
3. Define what YOU mean for each chosen value, write 1-3 sentences for each.
Why do I state a maximum number? It’s like setting priorities, everything can’t be top priority. Your core values shall be values you live by, things that really matter to you.
Our core values shall be our guiding light and help us stay on a course that’s right for us. Too many core values lead to conflicts of interest, which value overrules another.
Since the values are not unambiguous, we interpret words differently, I want you to explain what the values you have chosen mean to you. It is also a way for yourself to get a deeper understanding of your own core values.
It’s OK to cluster values if you consider some values as integral parts of another value. Make that clear in your description of what your core values mean to you.
To me honesty, authenticity and fairness are integral parts of integrity.
Love to me includes compassion and kindness as well as self-love.
Open-minded to me includes curiosity (inquisitiveness) and a willingness to learn and grow.
Accountability: Responsibility of your actions
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
Check your values
After you’ve selected your core values it’s time to check them against your life and your vision.
- Do your selected core values make you feel good about yourself?
- Can you (and do you) live by them?
- Would you feel comfortable telling people you respect and value about your core values?
- Would you stick to your core values even if your choice isn’t popular?
When you consider your core values in decision making you’re true to yourself. It shows integrity, it helps you achieve clarity and you act in line with what really matters to you.
Making choices based on our core values may not always be easy. However, making a choice by our true core values is easier and feels better in the long run.
Do the work
You can download a list of values and the text above here: Value assessment sheet