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How Values Affect Conflict > Identifying Your Values

Identifying Your Values

Because competing values can complicate work relationships and sometimes cause conflicts that are difficult to resolve, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of your own values. One way to gain that understanding is through an activity such as a values sort, which CCL sometimes uses in its work with managers and executives. Using the cards laid out on pages 18–20, you can quickly get a fix on your values and rank them in importance. To get started, photocopy the cards (there are three pages with ten cards each) and then cut them apart. Sort them into five stacks: always very important to me, often very important to me, sometimes very important to me, rarely very important to me, and never very important to me. Be sure to put at least one card in each stack.

Don’t worry if some of your values aren’t included in these thirty cards. You can add your own cards with values that are meaningful to you. After you have dealt your cards, look at the stacks you’ve made. Spread them out so you can see which cards (values) are in each group. What do you notice? Do you see trends, themes, or patterns? Look at the always very important to me column. If you have almost all your cards in that stack, what might that mean? (It’s very stressful to think we always have to value so many things.) Are there contradictory responses in this group? If so, you might be setting yourself up for an internal conflict. What are the things that are clearly the most important to you? Which ones would you be willing to “fall on your sword” for? Do you see how your values might set the stage for conflict with other people who are important to you? After you have studied your stacks of cards, record your rankings on a separate piece of paper.


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