Personal Core Values: Building Trust and Transparency in Business

Trust and transparency are the foundations of a thriving business. They build solid relationships with customers, team members, and stakeholders, creating a welcoming environment where everyone feels valued, accountable, and respected. Integrating personal values like trust and transparency into your business strategy can lead to unparalleled success and endurance in the competitive market. Let’s explore how company values can be a game-changer for your business.

What Are the Core Values?

Values are standards of behaviour and aspirational ideals. Values represent what’s important—what a person, organisation, culture, or society emphasises.

Core values, or personal values, represent what is fundamentally important to you. They define your principles and what you stand for, shaping your behaviours, decisions, and actions.

The Importance of Personal Values

Your values are the cornerstone of your identity, shaping you into your most authentic self and filling your life with purpose and direction. They fuel your motivation, steer your ambitions, shape your approach to life, and influence your interactions with the world. Recognising and understanding your values leads to a deep self-awareness, enabling you to chase your dreams more effectively and ensure your actions align with your core.

Personal values also play an important role in defining a company’s core values.  These core values are the essence of a company’s identity and culture, influencing every aspect of business from decision-making processes to customer interactions. Incorporating personal values into the company’s values ensures that the organisation operates with integrity, passion, and a clear vision for its future.

Moreover, identifying your company’s core values and aligning them with the personal values of its members, helps businesses foster a strong sense of unity and purpose among its team. This alignment not only enhances employee satisfaction and motivation but also attracts customers and partners who share similar values, thus establishing a stronger, more cohesive brand identity.

How Do You Determine Your Core Values?

Figuring out what you truly value can feel overwhelming at first. But trust me, it’s an incredibly fulfilling journey that helps you get to know yourself better and live a life that reflects what’s important to you. Let’s dive into some hands-on steps and exercises to help you discover your values.

At what times in your life were you the happiest

To get to the heart of your core values, think back to the happiest moments of your life. Look at both your work and personal life to get the whole picture. Here’s how to break it down:

  • What were you doing during these peak moments of happiness?
  • Were you alone or with others? If with others, who were they?
  • What else contributed to your happiness at these times?

The goal is to uncover patterns or common threads that resonate with your values, giving you a clearer sense of what truly matters to you.

Decide which moments made you feel the most proud

Reflecting on career milestones and personal achievements is like journeying into what matters to you. Let’s dive in:

  • Think about those times in your career when you truly felt on top of the world. What was happening? Leading a big project, getting that well-deserved promotion, or being recognized for your dedication and hard work.
  • Why did those moments make your heart swell with pride? Was it seeing your potential unfold, the positive ripple effect of your efforts, or the sweet validation of your skills and passion?
  • Now, shift gears to your personal life. Can you recall those instances that made you beam with pride? Was it achieving a personal milestone, conquering a challenge, or being there for someone in a tough spot?
  • Did you have a cheer squad? Think about how your family, friends, colleagues, and mentors might have joined in your celebration, making those achievements even more memorable.

Consider the moments when you felt satisfied or fulfilled

Reflect on both your work and personal life experiences where you felt truly fulfilled. What was it about those moments that made them so special? Consider the following:

  • What need or desire was met during these experiences?
  • Was it a sense of making a contribution, reaching a personal milestone, or the thrill of learning something new?
  • How and why did these moments give your life meaning? Did it resonate with your passion or purpose?
  • Were you helping others or making a positive impact on your community?
  • What other elements added to your sense of fulfilment? Overcoming challenges, support from friends or family, or the personal growth you achieved?

helping others in office

Identify your top values based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfilment

To truly ascertain why each experience of happiness, pride, and fulfillment holds importance and is memorable, it’s essential to dig deeper into the core essence of those moments. Reflecting on these experiences in the context of common personal values can provide clarity and direction in identifying your top 10 values. Consider the following list of common core values as a starting point:

  • Achievement
  • Creativity
  • Freedom
  • Friendship
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Honesty
  • Love
  • Respect
  • Security

Take a moment to reflect on the experiences that have truly mattered to you, and see how they align with your deepest values. Some of these values blend into a broader, more meaningful value. For example, if you notice that your happiest memories involve helping others, feeling part of a community, or being generous, then’ service to others’ might be one of your core values.

Prioritise your top values

This step might be the toughest because it requires you to take a profound look within yourself. Yet, it’s the most crucial step. When faced with a decision, you’ll often find yourself torn between options that cater to different values. This is the moment to truly understand what matters most to you.

Start by jotting down your core values without worrying about their order. Then, take the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could only satisfy one of these, which one would it be?” Visualising scenarios where you’re forced to choose between these values can be incredibly helpful.

For instance, if you’re weighing between the values of service and stability, imagine having to decide between selling your home to engage in meaningful foreign aid work or staying put and volunteering locally. Proceed by comparing each value against the others until you have a prioritised list that reflects what’s truly important to you.

Reaffirm your values

Take a moment to reflect on your core values, ensuring they align with your life and the vision you have for yourself. Ask yourself, do these values lift you? Are you genuinely proud of your top three values? Imagine sharing them with people you deeply respect and admire; does that thought fill you with pride?

Consider if these values stand firm even when they’re not the popular choice, placing you in a unique position. Incorporating these values into your decisions allows you to maintain your integrity, make choices confidently, and ensure you’re on the right path for your happiness and fulfilment, both now and in the future. Choosing based on your values might not always be the easiest path, but opting for what you believe is right simplifies life’s complexities in the long haul.

What is the Number of Values You Should Have on Your List?

When thinking about your set of core values, you might wonder how many is enough. The number of core values on your list can change, but aiming for about 5 to 10 is a good idea. This range is broad enough to touch on different parts of who you are and how you live, but it’s also focused enough to keep things clear and doable.

That said, when making a list of core values, the important thing is to pick values that genuinely shape your everyday choices and actions, not just things that sound good. A shorter list is easier to remember and stick to, helping guide your personal and work life.

Remember, it’s okay if your key values shift as you grow and change. Checking in on your list now and then to tweak it helps keep it accurate to your current self and future goals.

Common personal core values list

Values A – E Values E – P Values P – W
Acceptance Exploration Present
Accomplishment Expressive Productivity
Accountability Fairness Professionalism
Accuracy Family Prosperity
Achievement Famous Purpose
Adaptability Fearless Quality
Alertness Feelings Realistic
Altruism Ferocious Reason
Ambition Fidelity Recognition
Amusement Focus Recreation
Assertiveness Foresight Reflective
Attentive Fortitude Respect
Awareness Freedom Responsibility
Balance Friendship Restraint
Beauty Fun Results-oriented
Boldness Generosity Reverence
Bravery Genius Rigor
Brilliance Giving Risk
Calm Goodness Satisfaction
Candor Grace Security
Capable Gratitude Self-reliance
Careful Greatness Selfless
Certainty Growth Sensitivity
Challenge Happiness Serenity
Charity Hard work Service
Cleanliness Harmony Sharing
Clear Health Significance
Clever Honesty Silence
Comfort Honor Simplicity
Commitment Hope Sincerity
Common sense Humility Skill
Communication Humor Skillfulness
Community Imagination Smart
Compassion Improvement Solitude
Competence Independence Spirit
Concentration Individuality Spirituality
Confidence Innovation Spontaneous
Connection Inquisitive Stability
Consciousness Insightful Status
Consistency Inspiring Stewardship
Contentment Integrity Strength
Contribution Intelligence Structure
Control Intensity Success
Conviction Intuitive Support
Cooperation Joy Surprise
Courage Justice Sustainability
Courtesy Kindness Talent
Creation Knowledge Teamwork
Creativity Lawful Temperance
Credibility Leadership Thankful
Curiosity Learning Thorough
Decisive Liberty Thoughtful
Decisiveness Logic Timeliness
Dedication Love Tolerance
Dependability Loyalty Toughness
Determination Mastery Traditional
Development Maturity Tranquility
Devotion Meaning Transparency
Dignity Moderation Trust
Discipline Motivation Trustworthy
Discovery Openness Truth
Drive Optimism Understanding
Effectiveness Order Uniqueness
Efficiency Organization Unity
Empathy Originality Valor
Empower Passion Victory
Endurance Patience Vigor
Energy Peace Vision
Enjoyment Performance Vitality
Enthusiasm Persistence Wealth
Equality Playfulness Welcoming
Ethical Poise Winning
Excellence Potential Wisdom
Experience Power Wonder

How to Include Your Values During Your Job Search?

Finding a job you love isn’t just about the work; it’s about matching your own values with the role. Here’s how to bring your true self into your job hunt:

Add your core values to your resume

Adding your core values to your resume can make it stand out to employers with similar corporate values. First, pick a spot on your resume for a section on personal values or key strengths. In this section, list three to five values that match the job you want and truly represent who you are.

For each value, add a short example or values statement showing how it’s played a part in your work life or achievements. This makes your resume more personal and shows employers how well you might fit into their organisational culture.

Align your core values with companies when searching for jobs

Finding a job where you fit in starts with matching your values with potential employers. It involves landing somewhere you can be your best, stay productive, and be happy long-term. Begin with deep diving into companies you like. Check out what they stand for by exploring their websites, social media, or even reviews on sites like Glassdoor.

In interviews, please don’t shy away from asking about the company culture, values, and how they deal with challenging situations. This shows you’re serious about finding a place that’s right for you and helps you get a real feel for what working there could be like.

Talk about your core values during interviews

Talking about your core values in job interviews shows off your integrity and how you match up with the company core values and principles. It’s a chance to let them know what you’re all about, your goals, and what motivates you, giving them a peek into who you are and how you work. To nail this, get ready with short stories or examples that show how your values have helped you make choices, tackle work problems, or rack up successes.


How useful are core values?

Core values are crucial in shaping our professional and personal development. They inform our decision-making processes, ensuring alignment with our fundamental beliefs and standards. Within the professional sphere, core values impact our behaviour, fuel our motivation, and influence how we interact with coworkers, clients, and leaders.

They provide a solid foundation for cultivating a sense of purpose and direction in our careers. Moreover, embracing and embodying our core values can enhance job satisfaction, elevate performance, and contribute to better mental well-being. Ultimately, core values are more than lofty ideals; they are actionable guides that lead to a more fulfilling and genuine existence.

Does everyone have core values?

Indeed, everyone has core values, even if they’re only sometimes clearly identified or expressed. These values are the deeply rooted principles guiding our actions, decisions, and interactions. Originating from our upbringing, experiences, culture, and personal reflections, they shape who we are.

Recognising and understanding these core values demands thoughtful introspection and self-analysis, shedding light on what truly matters to us. This awareness dramatically influences our life choices, goals, and relationships, leading us toward a more purposeful and authentic existence. Identifying these values is a vital step in living a life that’s truly aligned with who we are.

Can you change core values?

Yes, an individual’s core values can evolve over time. Life changes, experiences, and personal growth all contribute to shifting values. This evolution is a natural aspect of life as we face new challenges, reassess priorities, and gain new perspectives.

However, changing core values takes time and effort; it requires deep reflection, education, and sometimes overcoming significant events. Periodically reevaluating values ensures they align with current beliefs and desired lifestyles. Recognising that our core values can change makes us more open-minded and adaptable, fostering meaningful growth.

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