Value-Sort Activity

Knowing what we value most in our work, relationships, and other commitments makes it easier to respond to opportunities and conflicts with integrity. The Value Sort is an excellent way to reflect upon what is most important to you personally and it is also a great way to stimulate conversations with peers, colleagues and family members.

Sort the following list of 30 Value Cards in terms of their relative importance to you. Place each in one of the 5 columns. The order of the Values within each column does not matter, only the columns ranked from Least Important to Most Important.

When you are done with the activity, print a record for yourself and then see how other visitors to the site have sorted these same values. It may be interesting to also have others (students, colleagues, friends) complete the sort and compare trends across different groups.

  • Drag each of the 30 Value Cards onto a ranked column
  • Least Important
    Place 4 cards
  • Less Important
    Place 6 cards
  • Neutral
    Place 10 cards
  • More Important
    Place 6 cards
  • Most Important
    Place 4 cards
Broad Interests
Courage, Risk Taking
Creating Balance in One's Life
Creativity, Pioneering
(originality, imaginativeness)
Efficient Work Habits
Enjoyment of the Activity Itself
Fame, Success
Hard Work and Commitment
Honesty and Integrity
(being receptive to new ideas or multiple perspectives)
Personal Growth and Learning
Power, Influence
Professional Accomplishment
Professional Conduct
(excellent, thorough, accurate, or careful work)
Recognition from One's Field
Rewarding and Supportive Relationships
(with family, friends, colleagues)
Searching for Knowledge, Uncovering What is True
Self-Examination, Self-Criticism, Self-Understanding
Social Concerns
(pursuing the common good; avoiding harm, caring about future generations)
Solitude, Contemplation
Teaching, Mentoring
Understanding, Helping, or Serving Others
(anticipating future directions, seeing the big picture)
Wealth, Material Well-Being