Using values as the driving force for good decision-making. Do you know your values?

It’s easier to make good decisions when you know what your values are
Using Values as the Driving Force for Decision Making

Personal values ​​and decisions


Personal values ​​are very important. Values ​​are fundamental beliefs and attitudes about life. They are the basis for many decisions and actions. By becoming more aware of your values, you can use them as a guide to making the best choice in any situation.

Values are important because life is full of decisions


Yes, life is full of possibilities. Where you go, what you do and who you become are the result of the daily decisions you make.

Values are what we are all about. Therefore, values should be the driving force for our decisions. They should be the basis for the time and effort we spend thinking about decisions. But this is usually not the case. It is not even close to what it is. Instead, decision-making usually focuses on the choice of alternatives.

It is a common experience to look at an upcoming decision the way most people see a problem, and are influenced by the available alternatives. The decision-making process, therefore, begins when at least two alternatives are available. I guess that happens in almost all decision-making situations, but it shouldn’t be like that. It should be possible to decide on a better base.





Personal values


Personal values, in the sense of these pages, are the basic beliefs and attitudes about life. They are the motivation for decisions and actions. The values are a level in the pyramid of neurological levels according to Robert Dilts (external link).

There are personal values (kindness, trust, etc.), spiritual values (intelligence), religious values (beliefs), moral values (behavior), and material values (money, power, possessions, etc.). Some values, such as the value of respect for property, can be used to derive social norms as concrete rules for social action, such as laws prohibiting theft. Values are a central component of many behavioral codes.





Know your values


In my work, I underline the role that your values have in decision-making. Your values are fundamental to making decisions, instead of only looking at the alternatives to decide the best outcome. Ask yourself why do you feel you need to choose an alternative option instead of letting things play out and see what happens?

The consequences of choosing alternative options may contradict the true values that are important to you and therefore this requires attention. The reason you are interested in deciding on any situation is the desire to avoid undesirable situations and achieve good opportunities. In any decision process, the alternatives are the means to achieving the more fundamental values you want.

When you define your values, you discover what’s truly important to you. A good way of starting to do this is to look back at your life − to identify when you felt wonderful and confident that you were making good choices.

Identifying and understanding your values is a challenging and important task. Your values are a central element of who you are and who you want to be. By becoming more aware of these important factors in your life, you can use them as a guide to making the best choice in any situation.

Some of life’s decisions are really about determining what you value most. When many options seem reasonable, it’s helpful and comforting to rely on your values and use them as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction.

List with values

  • Accountability
  • Accuracy
  • Achievement
  • Adventurousness
  • Altruism
  • Ambition
  • Assertiveness
  • Balance
  • Being the best
  • Belonging
  • Boldness
  • Calmness
  • Carefulness
  • Challenge
  • Cheerfulness
  • Clear-mindedness
  • Commitment
  • Community
  • Compassion
  • Competitiveness
  • Consistency
  • Contentment
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Contribution
  • Control
  • Cooperation
  • Correctness
  • Courtesy
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Decisiveness
  • Democraticness
  • Dependability
  • Determination
  • Devoutness
  • Diligence
  • Discipline
  • Discretion
  • Diversity
  • Dynamism
  • Economy
  • Effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Elegance
  • Empathy
  • Enjoyment
  • Enthusiasm
  • Equality
  • Excellence
  • Excitement
  • Expertise
  • Exploration
  • Expressiveness
  • Fairness
  • Faith
  • Family-orientedness
  • Fidelity
  • Fitness
  • Fluency
  • Focus
  • Freedom
  • Fun
  • Generosity
  • Goodness
  • Grace
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Hard Work
  • Health
  • Helping Society
  • Holiness
  • Honesty
  • Honor
  • Humility
  • Independence
  • Ingenuity
  • Inner Harmony
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Insightfulness
  • Intelligence
  • Intellectual Status
  • Intuition
  • Joy
  • Justice
  • Leadership
  • Legacy
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Making a difference
  • Mastery
  • Merit
  • Obedience
  • Openness
  • Order
  • Originality
  • Patriotism
  • Perfection
  • Piety
  • Positivity
  • Practicality
  • Preparedness
  • Professionalism
  • Prudence
  • Quality-orientation
  • Reliability
  • Resourcefulness
  • Restraint
  • Results-oriented
  • Rigor
  • Security
  • Self-actualization
  • Self-control
  • Selflessness
  • Self-reliance
  • Sensitivity
  • Serenity
  • Service
  • Shrewdness
  • Simplicity
  • Soundness
  • Speed
  • Spontaneity
  • Stability
  • Strategic
  • Strength
  • Structure
  • Success
  • Support
  • Teamwork
  • Temperance
  • Thankfulness
  • Thoroughness
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Timeliness
  • Tolerance
  • Traditionalism
  • Trustworthiness
  • Truth-seeking
  • Understanding
  • Uniqueness
  • Unity
  • Usefulness
  • Vision
  • Vitality




What’s that good for?


This list of values ​​serves as a guide. The list contains some synonyms and is not complete. Do you know more values? Then you can use the comment field and I will complete the list.

For example, this list of values ​​helps you to get a clearer view of what’s important to you personally. You could print out this page, highlight the values ​​that feel best for you, and sort them by importance. As you go through the list, it may be that some values ​​are of little or no importance to you, and some may even be considered negative. Take a closer look and dedicate the values ​​that magically attract you. Then you know your priorities.

Focus on what is important for yourself


In short, we should spend more of our decision-making time concentrating on what is important: articulating and understanding our values and using these values to select meaningful decisions to ponder, to create better alternatives than those already identified, and to evaluate more carefully the desirability of the alternatives.

Using values as the driving force for your decision-making.

Coaching for decisions


Decisions have to be made over and over again - small and large. Some are easy, some are difficult. We make many of these decisions without having to think much about them or even completely unconsciously, automatically. But now and then we come to the point where we encounter a decision where we pause, don't know what to do, don't see clearly. Often these are decisions of great importance that also have the ability to question important aspects of life that were previously considered given or untouchable. Such a situation can create pressure and even lead to paralysis, so that creative and constructive ways remain unconsidered.

Who sees clearly, can decide better and act purposefully. In order for this to succeed, it is necessary to ensure that the options are identified and, if necessary, increased and priorities clarified. Decision coaching helps to oversee the forest for the trees and to find the right focus. The best decision and creativity techniques can be used most effectively in a good mental state.

In order to make your decision easier, to be supported by me, I focus on transparency. On these pages you will find information about me (Karsten Noack) and the fees.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may be of interest to other readers in the comments. Looking for professional help?

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What attention do you pay to your values? Do you know your priorities?

1 Comment

  1. And how many values should someone focus? And how can I find out about the priorities?


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This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 1, 2008
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 15, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
AN: #1899

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