Definitions of Values

May 29, 2009
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Whether writing a code or developing an ethics program, organizations need to identify and define a set of values that represent the ethical ideals of the organization.

Regardless of the means by which you select your values, it is also important to draft a definition for each; employees need to know how you view these values, just as they need to know what ideals you consider to be important. The following are some terms typically found in codes.

Acceptance
Favorable reception or belief in something

Accomplishment
Doing or finishing something successfully

Accountability
Obligation or willingness to accept responsibility

Adaptability
The ability to modify behavior to fit changing situations

Adventurousness
Inclination to undertake new and daring enterprises

Allegiance
Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty

Altruism
Unselfish concern for the welfare of others

Ambition
An eager or strong desire to achieve something

Appreciation
Recognizing the quality, value or significance of people and things

Aspiration
A strong or persistent desire for high achievement

Assiduousness
Unceasing; persistent; diligent

Authenticity
The quality or condition of being trustworthy or genuine

Autonomy
The condition or quality of being independent

Benevolence
An inclination to perform kind, charitable acts

Camaraderie
Goodwill and lighthearted rapport between or among friends

Caring
Feeling and exhibiting concern and empathy for others

Changeability
The ability to modify or adapt to differing circumstances

Charity
Generosity toward others or toward humanity

Chastity
The condition of being of virtuous character

Cheerfulness
The quality of being cheerful and dispelling gloom

Citizenship
Exercising the duties rights, and privileges of being a citizen

Clear thinking
Acting intelligently without mental confusion

Collaboration
To work cooperatively especially in a joint intellectual effort

Commitment
Being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons

Community
Sharing, participation, and fellowship with others

Compassion
Deep awareness of the suffering of others coupled with the wish to relieve it

Competence
The state or quality of being adequately or well qualified

Competitive
To strive to do something better than someone else

Composure
Maintaining a tranquil or calm state of mind

Concern 
Regard for or interest in someone or something

Conscientiousness
The trait of being painstaking and careful

Consideration
Process of employing continuous, careful thought and examination

Consistency
Reliability or uniformity of successive results or events

Constancy
Steadfastness in purpose

Cooperation
The willing association and interaction of a group of people to accomplish a goal

Courage
The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with confidence and resolution

Courtesy
Civility; consideration for others

Credibility
The quality or power to elicit belief

Decency
Conformity to prevailing standards of propriety or modesty

Dedication
Selfless devotion of energy or time

Democracy
The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community

Dependability
The trait of being reliable

Determination
Firmness of will, strength, purpose of character 

Diversity 
A point of respect in which things differ; variety

Easygoing
Relaxed or informal in attitude or standards

Education
Obtaining or developing knowledge or skill through a learning process

Efficiency
The quality of producing an effect or result with a reasonable degree of effort to energy expended

Empathy
Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.

Encouragement
The act of incitement to action or to practice

Equality
The right of different groups of people to receive the same treatment

Equity
 The state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair

Ethics
The way people behave based on how their beliefs about what is right and wrong influence behavior

Excellence
State of possessing good qualities in an eminent degree

Fairness
Consistent with rules, logic, or ethics

Faith
Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing

Faithfulness
Adhering firmly and devotedly to someone or something that elicits or demands one's fidelity

Fidelity
Faithfulness; loyalty or devotion

Flexibility
Responsive to change

Forgiveness
The willingness to stop blaming or being angry with someone

Fortitude
The strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to face danger, pain or despondency with stoic resolve

Friendship
A relationship between people based on mutual esteem and goodwill

Generosity
Liberality in giving or willingness to give

Gentleness
The quality of being mild and docile

Genuine
Not spurious or counterfeit

Giving
Voluntarily transferring knowledge or property without receiving value in return 

Goodness
Morally right, or admirable because of kind, thoughtful, or honest behavior

Goodwill
A friendly attitude in which you wish that good things happen to people 

Gratitude
A feeling of thankfulness and appreciation

Hardworking
Industrious and tireless

Helpfulness
The property of providing useful assistance or friendliness evidence by a kindly and helpful disposition

Honesty
Fairness and straightforwardness of conduct

Honor
Principled uprightness of character; personal integrity

Hope
The feeling that something desired can be had or will happen 

Humility
Feeling that you have no special importance that makes you better than others

Industriousness
The characteristic of regularly working hard 

Ingenuity
Inventive skill or imagination

Initiative
Ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task

Integrity
Strict adherence to moral values and principles

Joy
Intense or exultant happiness

Justice
Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude

Kindness
The quality or state of being beneficent 

Law-abiding
Abiding by the encoded rules of society

Liberty
The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.

Love
A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person or idea

Loyalty
A feeling or attitude of devotion, attachment and affection.

Mercy
Forgiveness shown toward someone whom you have the power to punish 

Moderation
Having neither too little or too much of anything

Morals
Individual beliefs about what is right and wrong

Obedience
Compliance with that which is required; subjection to rightful restraint or control.

Opportunity
Favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances

Optimism
A bright, hopeful view and expectation of the best possible outcome

Patience
The ability to accept delay, suffering, or annoyance without complaint or anger 

Peace
Freedom from war or violence

Perseverance
Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose

Promise-keeping
Keeping your word that that you will certainly do something 

Prudence
Doing something right because it is the right thing to do

Punctuality
Adherence to the exact time of a commitment or event

Purity
Moral goodness

Reason
The ability to think and make good judgments

Recognition
An acceptance as true or valid

Reconciliation
Enabling two people or groups adjust the way they think about divergent ideas or positions so they can accept both

Reliability
Consistent performance upon which you can depend or trust

Repentance
Remorse or contrition for past conduct

Resilience
The ability to rebound quickly from misfortune or change

Resourcefulness
The ability to act effectively or imaginatively, especially in difficult situations

Respect
Polite attitude shown toward someone or something that you consider important 

Responsibility
That for which someone is responsible or answerable

Righteousness
The state of being morally upright; without guilt or sin

Sacrifice
To give up something for something else considered more important 

Self-control
Control of personal emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will

Self-discipline
Making yourself do things when you should, even if you do not want to do them 

Sensitivity
Awareness of the needs and emotions of others

Serenity
Calmness of mind and evenness of temper

Sharing
To allow others to participate in, use, enjoy, or experience jointly or in turns

Sincerity
Genuineness, honesty, and freedom from duplicity

Sobriety
Habitual freedom from inordinate passion or overheated imagination; calmness; coolness; seriousness

Stamina
The physical or mental strength to do something for a long time

Stewardship
The careful conducting, supervising, or managing of something

Supportive
Furnishing support or assistance

Thoughtfulness
The tendency to anticipate needs or wishes

Tolerance
Recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others

Tranquility
A state of calm and peacefulness

Trustworthiness
The trait of deserving confidence

Understanding
Knowing how something works or a positive, truthful relationship between people

Values
Core beliefs that guide and motivate attitudes and actions

Virtue
Doing something right because it is the good thing to do

Wisdom
The ability to make good judgments based on what you have learned from your experience

Work
 Perform as intended or desired