Exploring Values

Which of these two values is more important among the employees in your organization?

  • Integrity
  • Customer-focus

Yes, you are right: Both of them are important. Comparing these two values are like comparing apples with oranges.

However, thinking about these values, discussing them, and placing them in order of importance makes them more specific.


The participants identify the most important value among a set of values by comparing them two at a time.


To explore the relative importance of different values in an organization


  • Minimum: 10
  • Maximum: Any number
  • Best: 15 to 30


  • 10 minutes for the activity
  • 3 minutes for debriefing


  • Value Cards, 50 or more cards with different value printed on each
  • Timer
  • Whistle


Prepare a set of value cards by writing one of the values from the list on this pdf document.

Room Set Up

Set up a Mediation Area. Place a few chairs in this area and ask the participants not to sit in this area. Explain that you will send mediators to this area later in this activity.


Select a mediator. Randomly select one participant to be the mediator. Ask this person to go to the Mediation Area.

Distribute the value cards. Give a value card to each participant.

Explain the goal. Tell the participants that each card contains a value that should guide the employees of the organization. While all these values are important, the goal of this activity is to locate the one value that everyone should immediately focus on.

Ask participants to pair up and select. Tell the participants to pair up with each other and show their value cards, briefly talk about them, and decide which value is of higher importance.

Explain what to do after the selection. The participant with the value card that was not selected should give this card to the facilitator. He or she will then go to the Mediation Area. The other participant with the more important card should pair up with someone else.

Explain how mediation works. If a pair of participants could not decide which value is more important, they should go to a mediator. Both participants should take turns to briefly present their value to the mediator. This mediator should quickly decide which value is of greater importance.

Explain what happens after the mediation. The two participants who presented their values should give their cards to the mediator and go to the Mediations Area. The mediator should give the lower value to the facilitator and go to the main play area with the higher value and pair up with any available participant.

Continue the selection process. Ask the participants with value cards to repeatedly pair up with new partners and continue the decision-making process.

Conclude the session. When you end up with a single player with a value card, announce the end of the activity. Read the value on the card and declare it have the highest importance.


Focus on the selected value. Ask and discuss the following types of questions:

  1. What are the benefits of implementing this value?
  2. How would you rate the current level of implementation of this value among our employees?
  3. What would happen if this value is ignored or violated?
  4. How can we incorporate this value in our everyday activities in the workplace?
  5. How can we increase the awareness and acceptance of this value among all employees?

Learning Points

  1. There are several important values that should be embraced by all employees.
  2. It is easier to select between two values than among several values at the same time.
  3. Your personal priorities among values may be different from those of other people.