How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Value of values


ExplanationsValues> Value of values

Evolution | Shared values | Counteracting selfishness | Right and wrong | Decision | EvaluationSo what?



Values are one of the human ideas that has evolved alongside such skills as hunting in groups and living in tribes. It has proved useful and so has survived along with us.

It may even be that we have the need for values programmed into us, just like the ability and urge to speak. Certainly, all people and groups have values, even though they may be different. The rules of street gangs may be harmful to others, but within the gang, heaven help anyone who transgresses their values.

Shared values

In social environments from families to companies, values, or norms, provide the unwritten rules which allow us to trust one another and work together. If we share values then we can predict one another's behaviors and thus feel safe and know what to do.

Members of a group will thus share an often-unwritten set of values to which adherence is a condition for belonging to the group. A common shared lock-in value is that everyone is responsible for policing values, including pointing out and punishing offenders, and that anyone who does not fully comply with this duty is themselves an offender.

Counteracting selfishness

Sometimes our basic needs drive us to act in ways that help us, but may be unhelpful or even harmful to others. Social values are hence created as a control mechanism to counteract any tendency to put ourselves before other people. A typical example is in the tension between status and equality.

Right and wrong

Values is a confusing word that often gets confused with 'value' as in the value you get from buying a cheap, but well-built house (see Values types). Values are, in fact powerful drivers of how we think and behave. They tell us what is good and bad, right and wrong. They tell us the shoulds and shouldn'ts, musts and can'ts of life. They also help us decide which is more and less important.


Values thus help us make decisions. When we are formulating intent and choosing from alternatives, our values say 'that would help us reach our goals, but it would be socially unacceptable' and so we do not choose it. They also help us decide what is more or less important (which is necessary, as values often conflict with one another).


When we evaluate, we are using our values to judge a person or situation against our values, thus deeming it good or bad, right or wrong. Judging other people is a favorite pastime for many people, although the basis for this can be complex and based in our own damaged self-esteem.

We also evaluate our own potential decisions as we weigh up what to do in various circumstances.

Justifying sacrifice

When I work late, help a stranger or otherwise give more than I need, the values that I have enable me to feel good about what otherwise might be seen as wasteful or pointless activity.

Values create heroes, enabling the heroes to feel good about themselves. They also give reason for others to admire the person who stuck to their values even though it was clearly against their personal interests.


So what?

When you are talking about 'right and wrong' be sure that these are in the other person's values. Generally work from their values, not yours.

Also understand your and their decisions, and how you are filtering in and filtering out choices based on values. Spot these values by analyzing their decisions and evaluations.

If you act in a way which supports their values they will increase their trust in you. 

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |


You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book

Look inside


Please help and share:


Quick links


* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design


* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower


* Principles


* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values


* Alphabetic list
* Theory types


Guest Articles


| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-
Massive Content — Maximum Speed