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8 Top Core Values Exercises

Delving deeper into what drives us as individuals and as a team, core value exercises provide an open platform to discuss our beliefs in order to help identify the fundamentals we need for successful decision making. 

8 Top Core Values Exercises Core Values Exercises

From uncovering life-defining principles of motivation and purpose, this blog post will explore what these invaluable activities are all about whilst showcasing some of their most effective core exercises!

What are Core Value Exercise

Core value exercises are an important tool for organizations and teams that wish to take a deeper look into the building blocks of their operations. These exercises help to identify a group or organization’s underlying core values in order to ensure their mission and vision reflect these values, thus guiding every aspect of their work. 

Through exploring questions about what matters most to individuals and groups involved, these activities stimulate thoughtful conversations about shared values, allowing teams to create positive plans for creating an even stronger culture within the organization. If you are interested in finding your core value, you shouldn’t miss this video about finding your core values:

How to Find Your Core Values | 3 Easy Steps

While core value exercises may be challenging at first, ultimately they serve as key methods for facilitating progress and success within any organization.

Top 8 Core Value Exercises

By engaging in core value exercises, you can get your team to understand and embrace the core values of your organization and use them to drive their actions and decisions. 

Here are the top 8 core value exercises you can use to bring your team closer and inspire them to work towards a common goal.

1. Making Values Actionable 

Living your values is one of the most powerful things you can do. 

To make it even easier, take each of your top five core values and pair them with a verb! ‘Acting with love,’ ‘seeking healthfully’ or looking at life through an optimistic lens are all great ways to start practicing what you value most. 

If some don’t have verbs in the traditional sense, work around it – if kindness is important to you, try saying “spreading kindness,” for example. 

Live out these actions every day and soon enough they will become second nature on your journey toward self-realization!

2. How Do You Live Your Values?

Understanding and living our core values can profoundly boost both physical and mental well-being. An exercise to evaluate how we currently abide by them, as well as ways in which they could be further incorporated into daily life, is therefore an invaluable asset for personal growth.

  • Ask yourself how you bring each of your top 5 core values to life. For instance, do you take a risk here and there or embark on exciting new experiences? Reflecting upon this can help guide decisions that are in alignment with what truly matters most.
  • Next, reflecting on our core values is essential in detecting contradictions between the words that you say and what you do. Are there any instances where your behavior differs from how your top 5 core values would act? It takes a certain level of self-awareness to ask yourself if occasional impatience undermines valued patience, or whether excessive pride obstructs living with modesty – but it’s an important exercise worth undertaking!
  • To more fully embody your values, why not challenge yourself by discovering a new way to express them? Consider how you can get creative and enrich interactions with others, or strengthen the truth in everyday conversations. It’s never too late for growth – so go ahead and explore!

3. Understand Your Company’s Image

Before crafting a company manifesto defining your core values, it’s essential to have an understanding of the image you’d like to project. From what employees view internally, right down to customers’ impressions – comprehending where and how you wish to be perceived is key in uncovering just exactly which ideals are most important for your organization.

For this exercise, ask:

  • How does your company stand apart? While it’s important to understand what makes you similar to competitors in the same industry, perhaps even more intriguing is learning about how your organization differs. Are there certain aspects that set you aside from not just those working within the same field but also outsiders looking in? Explore this question and discover how truly unique YOUR business can be! 

In order to develop an empowering and impactful values statement, a collaborative effort involving managers and executives is needed. They should come together in a working group to brainstorm the core values that best reflect the organization’s desired image – then seek feedback from employees at all levels before finalizing their list of beliefs.

4. Identify What’s Important

Establishing a bedrock of core values is an essential task for any company. To get the clearest picture, gather your people from all departments and levels so they can collectively create a foundation that best reflects what matters to everyone in the organization. 

By leveraging diversity amongst employees – including those with different tenures as well- you ensure multiple perspectives come together to build something truly remarkable!

To ensure your organization’s core values are tailored to you and your team, ask each member which aspects of the company they deem important. Compare their answers – this will give everyone a better understanding of how unique perspectives can shape an effective set of shared principles.

What are the top five:

  • Most important qualities in a [company name] employee?
  • Least important, or five qualities that are detrimental to performance at [company name]?
  • Stand-out things that your organization does to shape employees’ career paths?

By taking these questions, you can uncover the foundational beliefs that will always remain constant in your business. Through learning more about yourself and where you are headed, you’ll be able to decide exactly what paths suit – and do not suit – your values as an organization.

To get a better understanding of how deeply ingrained your organization’s values are, try this exercise once more – but now only with the upper echelons. Compare their answers to those given by employees and see if they align or not. 

In case there is miscommunication between different levels of management, investigate what could be causing it and choose one set of values that best reflect who you are as an entity so everyone’s on the same page in terms of objectives!

5. Focus Your Values

It can be daunting to narrow down an organization’s core values. With so many traits worth striving for, it’s essential to prioritize the few that will drive your business forward and give employees purposeful direction. How do you pick out which ones are key?

Gather your group of employees for a dynamic exploration into what makes up the core values of your organization! Assemble an environment to facilitate creative thinking, and encourage each individual to brainstorm ideas they feel represent the essence of why you all work together. 

Narrow it down from there by highlighting the top 10 concepts or phrases that really speak volumes about who you are as a unified force.

Group these values based on their common threads – such as kindness or balance – before selecting only those attributes that are non-negotiable reflections of what sets you apart from others in the industry.

Lastly, establish three to five core values at this stage which serve as guiding principles defining why everyone is here today: ones worth advocating, making decisions upon, and committing yourselves totally too.

6. Uncover Shared Values

Executives lead by example and often have personal values they bring to their careers. Tap into the integral beliefs that are already shared amongst your owners, founders, executives and managers – words or phrases repeated will give a glimpse of these core ideals. By choosing these existing principles as your organizational code you can incorporate them easily into your culture with greater ease!

To ensure everyone has their voices heard, take a unique approach to determine core values: send out surveys to employees at every level. By engaging with staff members on all levels, you can gain fresh perspectives that could influence our organizational mission and vision statement in ways never considered before.

Living your values is essential to achieving success, both as an individual and within a team. To do this, you need concrete examples of how each core value should be applied in practice – what actions it encourages or discourages from employees. 

It’s important to show, not just tell: illustrate your organization’s core values through examples of employee behavior. For each one, provide a real-life scenario that demonstrates it being lived out – or make an example of how NOT following the value can be detrimental. Let these scenarios serve as lessons and teachable moments that bring the values alive!

Defining these kinds of scenarios helps create training plans and codes that reflect the company’s bigger mission: embodying its chosen set of principles every day through meaningful decisions and behaviors. 

Take teamwork for instance – rather than simply talk about cooperation among colleagues, exemplify ‘teamwork’ by pointing out specific ways everyone can pitch in their effort – such as not prioritizing personal benefit over collective gain!

8. Review Your Core Values

Constantly redefining your core values is essential for ensuring that the mission and culture of your organization remain true to their original purpose. Taking the time every few years to evaluate if those values still reflect where you are going can be incredibly beneficial in taking control of a successful future.


  • Which values are you falling short on?
  • Are there any values that no longer feel relevant? Will they still be relevant decades in the future?
  • Would you be willing to uphold each value even if it put your company at a disadvantage (e.g. financial, ethical, competitive)?

If amid change, your culture’s core values are at risk of becoming outdated or irrelevant, don’t toss them to the side just yet. Reinforce a sense of purpose among employees by adapting and refining internal codes like conduct/ethics policies and employee training programs.

After all, when equipped with the right tools for success they’ll be more likely to succeed in upholding these timeless essential principles. If even then you’re still coming up short two years down the line however it may be time to consider revising that statement about what is truly valued most deeply throughout your company.

Here are a few resources for core value exercises that might help you:



Keeping your core values top of mind is essential for making decisions that are in line with what you stand for, and ultimately help shape an authentic life. To do this, you’d benefit from writing down a list of your core values to reflect on regularly and engaging in intentional exercises like inquiry and journaling. 

Additionally, consider engaging in self-reflection exercises, such as creating a collage of images that reflect each value or spending time meditating on how your thoughts and beliefs feed into the larger picture.

Utilizing the right core value exercises can set you off on the path toward living a more fulfilling life. 

Did this article pique your interest? Or did it miss anything? Share your thoughts in the comments and let me know what you think was done well, or if there’s anything else I should’ve included.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How can core values exercise help?

Core values exercises help individuals and teams look within to discover the beliefs that are important to them, allowing these qualities to guide their decision-making and future goals. Through this process of self-discovery, groups can come together more harmoniously as they work towards a shared purpose with unified intentions.

2. How often should core values exercises be done? 

Demonstrating core values should be a continuous activity, not just a one-time event. Integrate it into team-building initiatives and regular check-ins to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to company culture!