Our values are our guideposts to help us make decisions. They keep us in our truth, they tell us what’s important. We will never know more discomfort than when a value of ours is crossed or when the organization we’re working in has values that are out of alignment with our own.

When we think about values and what’s important to us, it can be helpful to split them into 2 types: Core values and Pillar values.

Core values are who you are at your core. These should not change over time and they were likely present throughout your life (from when you were a child to where you are at now). They show up in our actions and behaviors. They remain with us for the duration of our lifetime.

Pillar values on the other hand can change over time based on what’s important to us. They can be aspirational (what we hope to be) or situational (depending on life stage, relationships, and personal circumstances). For example, a medical diagnosis may place the value of “Health” much higher on your list.

To find your values, I suggest you look at a list of values and go through the process of rating each one. Here is a list from the Dare To Lead website: https://brenebrown.com/resources/dare-to-lead-list-of-values/ Place a number beside each word. 0 = this is not important to me at all and 5 = this is extremely important to me, I live my life by it. Once done, you’ll have a list of several 5s.

For each 5, look at the value and determine – was this important to me as a child? Did it remain important to me throughout my life? If yes, it is likely a core value. Take the 5s that show up as core values and weight them against one another. Value A vs Value B – which is more important? Repeat this until you get to your top 2.

If you find you have a grouping of similar values (for example: fairness, equity, justice), does one of these words encapsulate them all? Can you group them all under another name?

Then look at your other 5s and determine which are your top 3-4 most important to you NOW. These are likely your pillar values.

When we share our values with others, they get to know what’s important to us. At work, this is extremely important as it will help us understand one another and often behaviors we couldn’t previously explain.

To take this into your work group, you can do this exercise together. Rank your top 2 and then discuss how they show up for you at work. Post your values on your zoom background or cubicle/office door. Honor one another’s values by remembering what’s important to each other and ask more about those things.

I’d love to hear how this exercise goes for you. Comment below with your top 2 values and how they show up for you in work and in your life.

Do you need guidance with this exercise? Book a consultation call with me: https://calendly.com/lauracookeconsulting/30min