Free Card Sort Tool to ID Core Values


Some of the values included in the online values card sort tool featured in this post

“There are the values we think we should have and then there are the values we really have”, according to an article by Lily Zhang for The Muse.

The difference between the two is even harder to understand when you add cultural differences and all of the stressors involved in starting a job quickly in a new country.

 Values Card Sort by Richard Knowdell is a free resource that provides 54 different core values and three categories to sort them into ranging from Very Important to Not Important.

We usually help clients think about the marketable skills they offer.  When we talk about the kind of job they want based on values, it is often in the context of assuring their compliance with the requirement to accept the first available job.

How to Use the Tool in Your Work
  • Zhang suggests using this tool to clarify the choice between two career opportunities or define required qualities in a company’s culture.
  • Consider using it to focus a discussion about accepting the first available job.  You can explain how realistic job options will offer or lead toward the fundamental values clients prioritize in the exercise.
  • Use it to gently address cultural differences that might shift some of the values. For example, the stated value might be “close to home”. The real value might be “social status” that is damaged by using public transportation in their culture. This exercise could make it easier to talk about how different U.S. workplace values might help you help clients feel more open to being flexible.
  • For clients that have never had the chance to work or chose the kind of work they want to do, this simple exercise could help them begin to think about that choice for the first time.  It offers some good English language vocabulary, too.
  • You could even integrate into your employability assessment or initial discussions about program requirements and agency policies.
Some Technical Details

After a very simple sign-up process, it’s easy to find in in the Tools and Resources section listed on the top menu bar.  You can reset the tool as many times as you want to use it with more than one client.  Although they offer an option to print a report, it doesn’t really do that.


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