Tobin, Michael and Rol have provided much food for thought on values.
I would like to add that all of our decisions are based on our values or,
more succinctly, our standards for values. These decisions range from what
clothes we wear to where we live, from our level of education to the food
we eat, from the people we associate with to the way we treat others.
The easiest way to look at this process is to evaluate what decisions we
have made or what actions we have taken and compare these to the values
which seem relevant to those decisions or actions.
For myself, people who know me say that I am cheerful always and
loving/caring for others to a high standard. I think that I got that way
because we had very little except love in a family with only one parent,
one older brother and an older than him sister. The older ones always
helped me and we all had to help mom. Our religion was very important and
set our standards for love and affection. Nuns were especially loving in
As an adult, I have not been able to stand by and not help anyone in
difficulty no matter how much it inconveniences me. I do protect my family
first. My husband is an assertive, action-oriented person who leaves no
stone unturned in "getting the job done". He had to teach me how to take
on distasteful situations which could not be won with love and I had to
teach him how to take other people's feelings and well-being into account.
My response to an ugly encounter was to step away from it, but that
stopped me from solving problems. His response to people was to demand
more and turn the screw which rendered him unable to effectively help poor
performers because they reacted poorly to being beaten on.
The point that I am making by all of this is that what we choose to do is
driven by our value standards. My husband's standards for loving, caring,
compassion, fairness, humility were far lower than his assertiveness,
sense of responsibility for the work, sense of loyalty to the company and
other relevant action oriented values.
In our present "do your own thing" and "there are no absolute truths"
society being espoused by much of the establishment, values have lost
their revered place of being the rudder for our actions. But everyone
still uses what they have to make their own decisions.
Just some thoughts, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book
firstname.lastname@example.org "How to Unleash the Power of People"
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>