Team values

I’ve talked about the importance of values before. But how can you check if the values of a candidates who are applying for a spot in your team share the same values as the rest of the team?

The following exercise I did with a team to determine our team values.

We started with a warming up. We individually answered the following questions:

*) At work, I get inspired by:

*) I’m proud to be part of a team that:

*) What I can offer my colleagues is:

And we shared that with each other and talked about the outcomes.

After that we answered the following questions:

*) My Personal top 5 values are:

For inspiration you can use a list of values from

After writing down 5 values, you challenge them by asking the following questions for each value:

  • If you were to start a new organization, would you build it around this core value regardless of the industry?
  • Would you want your organization to continue to stand for this core value 100 years into the future, no matter what changes occur in the outside world?
  • Would you want your organization to hold this core value, even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage—even if in some instances the environment penalized the organization for living this core value?
  • Do you believe that those who do not share this core value—those who breach it consistently—simply do not belong in your organization?
  • Would you personally continue to hold this core value even if you were not rewarded for holding it?
  • Would you change jobs before giving up this core value?
  • If you awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire comfortably for the rest of your life, would you continue to apply this core value to your productive activities?

(source: )

If you can answer a values with “yes” on all questions, you got a winner.

We collected our personal values, the ones with yes on all questions, and from those values we looked if there were similar personal values within the team.

Talking about those values, we decided together what our team values were.

This can be used during a interview by letting the candidate take the same exercises to determine their personal values. With the whole team you can talk about the values of the candidates to see if you think they match enough. I first did this exercise during the PAL-E training by Ron Eringa.