Identify Your Values

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BetterUp Studios

10 min

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Core values can act as your North Star, shining light on important decisions and guiding prioritization of your limited time and energy.

In the activity below, you will peruse a sample list of value-related words curated by the VIA Institute on Character. You may find that you identify with many of these values. After all, who doesn’t value excellence or kindness? Narrowing your list down to three or four core values is the challenge and the gift of this exercise.

After you finish this activity, you can take the next step and reflect on how to put your values into action while you're at work with this resource.


Step 1

Identify 10-15 values that are most important to you.

Step 2

Now try to identify 3-4 values that are most important to you at this point in time. There is no need to limit yourself to the words on this list. The following questions may help:

  • Which values are non-negotiable?
  • Which ones must I honor to feel like my best self?
  • When I look at my first list, do I notice any patterns that may indicate an overarching top value? For example, choosing friendship, family, community may indicate that relationships are a top priority.

Step 3

Gut check.

  • Do my choices feel authentic, as opposed to representing what I think I should value, or what I used to value?

Authenticity Justice
Achievement Kindness
Adventure Knowledge
Autonomy Leadership
Balance Learning
Beauty Logic
Boldness Love
Challenge Loyalty
Citizenship Marriage
Collaboration Meaningful Work
Community Morality
Compassion Nature
Connection Openness
Contribution Optimism
Courage Partnership
Craftsmanship Peace
Creativity Playfulness
Curiosity Pleasure
Determination Poise
Excellence Popularity
Empathy Power
Faith Productivity
Fame Recognition
Family Religion
Forgiveness Reputation
Freedom Respect
Friendships Responsibility
Fun Risk taking
Grit Security
Growth Self-Respect
Happiness Service
Harmony Spirituality
Health Spontaneity
Honesty Stability
Humanity Success
Humor Status
Independence Trust
Influence Vitality
Inner Peace Wealth
Innovation Wisdom
Integrity Zest

Consider continuing this conversation about values with your coach and see what additional insight you can gain.

BetterUp Studios
BetterUp Studios creates and curates research-backed content, activities, and tools to help people everywhere pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion.

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