What are core values?

Core Values

What are core values?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, values are “principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” Values provide a strong foundation for the way we live our lives.

What are core values?

Core values are your Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system for life. Getting them defined and properly calibrated is one of the most important steps in redirecting your life toward your grandest vision. Your core values are the best way we have to talk about who you really are, deep down inside — your essence. Who you really are is beyond words. Yet, words are one of the basic ways we must communicate, and core values allow us to talk about our essence in a way that is both tangible and unlimited.

If you compromise any of your core values, you will find it becomes easy to disregard your entire values system. Therefore, you should only deviate from your values system if you have identified that one of the values is no longer applicable or needs to be altered.

There are five (5) parts to this exercise; compete all five. Part 1: Awareness

What are the values by which you operate? Most people have between three (3) and 10 core values. This self-guided core values exercise will help you identify and/or clarify your Core Values. This activity is best done quietly on your own. This does not mean that some values are worth nothing to you, only that some are more important than others. The following process will help you to identify your top three (3) Core Values.

If you are not certain what your values are, the list provided is not an exhaustive list. Feel free to add to a value that is not on the list. First, read the list and check the values that pop out at you. Pay close attention to your inner dialogue as you review the list. How you reflect on these values will reveal interesting truths about yourself; you just must listen.

Part 2: Verification

Core values are essential, universal, and personal. They are essential because it feels as though you cannot live without them.

Core values are universal because they apply everywhere, all the time. No matter where you are or when it is, your core values are important. This is what separates core values from other important values.

Core values are personal because they are based on your life experience. If you and a classmate both have a core value of respect, you would each describe it differently. This is because you have different life experiences and thereby different definitions. Core values are not actions. For example, someone might say, “Telling the truth is my core value.” However, telling the truth is an action. In this case consider what is it about telling the truth that is essential. The answer could be honest, or trust, or integrity. So, if you identify an action, then ask yourself what is essential about it. Look for the deeper value.

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Part 3: Defining

Below is a list of questions to help you identify and expand on what CORE values mean to you. You do not need to answer all the questions; do as many as you like: • Where did this value come from? (Usually a person or an event)

• When did it first become important to me?

• Was there anyone in my life who demonstrated this value? (Parent, teacher, coach, mentor, or hero)

• Did any significant events happen that relate to this value?

• What does this value mean to me?

• What have I done or do that is consistent with this value?

• What has happened in my life that is inconsistent with this value?

Part 4: Prioritize

Review the list of values below. It is by no means exhaustive and you can add to it accordingly. Then check your top 25.

o Accomplishment o Achievement o Accountability o Accuracy o Adventure o Attitude – positive o Beauty o Calm o Challenge o Change

o Collaboration o Commitment o Communication o Community o Comfort o Compassion o Competence o Competition o Connection o Cooperation o Coordination o Creativity o Decisiveness o Delight of being, joy o Democracy o Discipline o Discovery

o Fun o Global view o Good health o Gratitude o Greatness o Growth o Happiness o Hard work o Harmony o Honesty

o Improvement o Independence o Individuality o Inner peace o Innovation o Integrity o Intuitiveness o Justice o Knowledge o Leadership o Learning

o Love o Loyalty

o Meaning o Modelling

o Prosperity o Punctuality o Purpose o Recognition

o Regularity o Relationships o Reliability o Resourcefulness o Respect for others o Responsibility

o Results-oriented o Safety o Satisfaction o Security o Self-giving o Self-reliance o Service (to others, society) o Simplicity o Skill o Solving Problems o Speed o Spontaneity o Standardisation o Status o Structure o Succeed; A will to o Success; Achievement

o Freedom o Friendship

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o Diversity o Effectiveness o Efficiency o Empowerment o Excellence o Fairness o Faith o Faithfulness o Family o Flair

o Flexibility o Focus

o Money o Openness o Orderliness o Passion o Peace – inner o Perfection o Personal Choice o Pleasure

o Power o Practicality o Preservation o Privacy o Progress

o Teamwork o Techniques o Timeliness o Tolerance o Tradition o Transformation o Tranquility o Trust

o Truth o Unity o Variety o Wealth o Wisdom

Once you have checked your 25 values, look at them again and then narrow your list to your Top ten (10) values below:

My TOP ten (10) Core Values 1. 6.

2. 7.

3. 8.

4. 9.

5. 10.

My TOP three (3) Core Values




Once you have listed your ten (10) values, then narrow your list to your Top three (3) values below:

Part 5: Sharing

Continue to think about your core values in relation to your life and see what you notice. Engage your family, friends, and colleagues in conversations about core values, yours and theirs. Have the intention of learning something about yourself and about them.

Further Reflection

• What do your core values mean to you?

• How do you express your core values?

• What might your values tell you about yourself?

• Do you see some patterns?

• Knowing what you know about yourself, what areas in your life are in line with your values and what areas might you want to adjust?

Reference Living More, LLC. – Retrieved from http://www.mvla.net/teachers/SusanL/Comp%20and%20World%20Lit/Documents/Values%20 List.pdf Bill Grace and Associates – Retrieved from http://www.billjgrace.com/ValuesBasedLeadership.html