Working with values in your team

We know that it’s important for organisations to set out their values to guide decisions, endorse certain behaviours and help employees to feel connected.

But what happens when individual and organisational values are not aligned? Or when different members of the same team have very different core values?

For example, if your values are compassion, authenticity and collaboration, what might it be like to work on a team with someone who values leadership, courageousness and efficiency. Might there be potential conflicts?

Here’s an exercise that might help you get curious and identify what really makes the individuals in your team tick!


1. Get hold of some sets of values cards like those shown in the picture (get in touch you need help sourcing some!)

2. Give an identical stack to each of your team members. Have them sort through the cards and put them into two piles -important and not important

3. See if they can select the 5 most important values (to them) from the ‘important’ pile

4. Review and discuss! What similarities can you identify? What values do you share as a team, and where might values cause potential conflict?

You might like to try some open-ended coaching questions to explore what this means for you as a team. For example:

– What have we discovered about ourselves as a team?
– How might this change the way we work together?
– What do we need to pay attention to?
– What do these values look like in action?
– How might we honour the values that are most important to each of us?

This kind of exercise is relatively quick to do, and is a brilliant way to get to know your team mates better and help build solid relationships and mutual understanding.

And of course, if you’d like a qualified coach and psychologist to help you delve deeply into the outcomes of this exercise, you know where to find me!

PS – you can also do this exercise online to help strengthen your virtual teams. Let me know if you’d like to learn more!

Isabelle Fielding_Logo Mark

"I partner with you to move your teams from good to great"

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