Hyper Island

Explore your Values

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60 - 1202 - 40 Medium

Your Values is an exercise for participants to explore what their most important values are. It’s done in an intuitive and rapid way to encourage participants to follow their intuitive feeling rather than over-thinking and finding the “correct” values. It is a good exercise to use to initiate reflection and dialogue around personal values.



Initiate reflection and dialogue around personal values




    Step 1:

    Hand out post-its to all participants.

    Step 2:

    Ask them to write down the ten things in their life that they value the most, one on each post-it, in the form of a value. In other words, rather than the name of a specific person, put down, for example, “friendship,” “family” or “honesty” - something they actually value in the relationship with that person.

    Step 3:

    When everyone has their ten post-its, ask the participants to spread them out in front of them so that they can see them clearly and have a good overview.

    Step 4:

    Tell the participants that they now have 30 seconds to pick the three post-its that are the least important to them, and throw them away. Be hard on the timings and don’t give them more time even if it’s needed. They are to use their gut feelings.

    Step 5:

    Repeat the last step, now giving them 20 seconds to throw away two more.

    Step 6:

    And finally, repeat the last step, giving them 20 seconds to throw away two more. They should now have three post-its left with their three most important values.

    Step 7:

    Give the participants 15 minutes to reflect individually, then 30 minutes to in pairs or groups of three to reflect on the following questions:

    • What do I feel about the values I ended up with? Were they expected or did they surprise me?
    • How do these values show themselves in my everyday life?
    • What actions do I already take to live by them?
    • What actions would I like to take to live by them?

    These actions can be connected back to an action plan, using everyday actions to live and work more holistically.

    Tips for running this activity online

    • Pick an online whiteboard tool that allows you to use a large, zoomable canvas where all participants can contribute. Give each participant a space on the board to work in. Alternatively, create a shared online document and have each person create a header with their name to collect their values.

    • Use a video conferencing tool where you can assign the participants into breakout rooms (eg. Zoom).

    • Start by asking participants to write down ten things in their life they value the most on virtual post-its in your online whiteboard.

    • Next, ask each participant to spread out their post-its and give them thirty seconds to pick three post-its that are the least important to them, placing the unused post-its to the side of their working area. If using an online document, have each person strike through their least important values.

    • Next, give participants twenty seconds to remove two more values.

    • Then, give each participant twenty seconds to remove two final post-its. They will then be left with their three most important values.

    • Give participants 15 minutes to reflect individually and then assign them into pairs or groups of three to reflect on the questions in step 7.

    • After briefing the above, turn on breakout rooms so each group can work on their tasks.

    • After breakout tasks are completed, have participants return to the main room where you can debrief the exercise.

    • When facilitating group discussion, we recommend participants use non-verbal means to indicate they’d like to speak. You can use tools like Zoom’s nonverbal feedback options, a reaction emoji, or just have people put their hands up.The facilitator can then invite that person to speak. 


    Source: Hyper Island toolbox

    Hyper Island designs learning experiences that challenge companies and individuals to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly digitized world. With clients such as Google, adidas and IKEA, Hyper Island has been listed by CNN as one of the most innovative schools in the world

    Comments (1) (4.7 avg / 3 ratings)

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    • This is great! I have a similar exercise; however the participants pre-select their values from a list. Start with 15; then 10; then 5. And then when they come together, we discuss the values and how they are in common or different from each other. If possible, the team aligns on a smaller set of team-values. Such as: "integrity" instead of "honesty"; so that it holds the collective values as a larger whole.

      about 5 years ago