"Principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what is important in life." (Oxford English Dictionary)

"The principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations" Cambridge English Dictionary


Values may be aspirational - we do not always act on our values as consistently as we might want.

For example most people like to act fair - but fairness may be hard to achieve. What exactly is fair when you need to hire or reward someone, as it depends on criteria you choose (excellent results/working very hard/other criteria), which depend on context.


Values are only important if you actually live them, if you do what you say you believe in.

Let's say that one of your stated values is collaboration. But your current behavior is different:

- You decide most of the time to work on your own. - You rarely ask for help when you get stuck. - Nor do you ask for feedback. - In meetings you argue often and want to be right. - In groups you tend to push your opinion/proposal to be accepted by the other group members.

Then it seems that another value in you trumps the importance of collaboration in those moments.