Core Values

Outreachy Entry 1

As part of participating in Outreachy, which is a program for open source contribution that I’m taking part of this summer, We were asked a question regarding our core values.

I know that I have some inner compass and set of values that guide me while taking my life decesions, but I never put much thought into naming them, I know they exist and they just do the job, but the bad part about this, is that you drift sometimes and feel like you don’t know yourself or what you stand for anymore.

So, faced by this question, I had to think about the values that matter to me in life or career and explain why. I remembered that during my time in Munich at Digital Product School we had a workshop for core values, at first when I saw it on my schedule I thought : “pfft!, this is just another team building activity”. but then after the workshop has ended I realized it is good to actually define them for myself so they act as a reminder for me while working and push me forward in the direction I desire, and most importantly, to be able to work in harmony with other team members and balance my values with theirs and vice versa.

Before speaking about my 4 core values, I will share what we did in the exercise, because it wasn’t just about defining our values but also how these values are balanced when we work within a team.

value square, depicting the value dynamics with its counter value

In this photo, an example core value was Quietness. When you think about a value,first, think about this value exaggerated negatively and what this might entail. for quietness, the negative exaggertation of quietness might be getting lonely, isolated or detached.

Second, think of a negative exaggeration of the counter value to it, which in our case might be loudness, energetic, inability to stop talking.

Third, take this negative counter value and think of the positive impact it might entail (positivie counter value), which is being communicative or sociable or building connections with others and gaining experience.

At the end you should find some kind of a balance utilizing your values in a team and balancing them out with a positive counter value from your other team members’, and that’s how values can co-exist efficiently within a team and how you decide if this team will work out perfectly or not. by asking each team member to define their core values and trying to act together to maintain these values.

I remember in DPS workshop, I picked ‘PURPOSE’ this felt like my value back then. after picking it, we had to write down what does this value mean to us so we can define it and also we had to write down when do we feel it’s fullfilled or met and share this with our teams.

value picked : purpose
describe what fullfills this value to you in the shape of a flower petals and the value in center

we discussed the Reverse Value Square as well, where we speculated our negative traits or behaviours and how we can make use of it for better communication and integration with others.

In this photo for example, you start from the bottom right with an example of someone who stays late in the office and consequently gets late to appointments with his wife, this trait seems to be of an unreliable person (negative), however, in some occasions this can be helpful because the person with this trait tends to be flexible with their time schedule, they work around it and try to tailor it to their current circumstances even though it might not benefit them in most cases to play around too much with their schedule. on the other hand, this person’s wife might seem to them as restricted, inconsiderate person since she doesn’t adapt to the circumstances of her partner’s schedule, however, she is structurednd and reliable which is a trait that balances her partner’s flexibility in order for it not to turn into a chaos. also, her partner balances her structured lifestyle with some flexbility, so it doesn’t turn out way ‘too’ structured and restrictive for her. and that’s when a balance happens out of negative traits as well.

reverse value square

After discussing the dynamics of core values within a team, time to try and think about my own. which act as the engine to my current self, and there were 4 of them.

1. Growth

I have growth as a value, because for me it acts as a metric that I use to be mindful about what I do with my life,which decisions and actions made me grow to a better version of myself and which did not, which circumstances did shape my personality or my career at which stages of my life. looking back at myself at the past, I guess what I value most is the fact that I’m not whom I used to be anymore. so I grew. and that’s what makes me know I’m moving forward. it also reassures me when sometimes I feel like I’m not getting by with my current life, I get back to former points in my life and just contemplate what I accomplished so far.

2. Self-reliance

value picked : mulan trying so hard to get the arrow at the top of the pole

Eversince I was little, I always wanted to explore stuff by myself, of course you will always learn from others (which is something you cannot exclude, it’s usually insightful and introduce a new perspective than your own or even corrects yours) but I really appreciate the learning path you take to explore and learn or do something on your own pace and rules, the struggles you will meet or stuff that block you and you keep untangling issues untill you’re there, this way you learn more about the process itself besides the thing that you wanted to actually learn and the good part is you can also help others afterwards who are in the same point in time. since you’ve taken the path from groud up and you’ve been there before. one other upside, is you learn on a new canvas, you don’t get biased by what others think about the path, you make your own impression and then you can check others. I value self-reliance for another emotional aspect as well, which is when I realize I figured something while being self-reliant, it gives me confidence in believing in my own ways of doing things. sometimes you take some paths or decisions that are not what the rest of the people around you advise or pick, and it can feel a little bit lonely going down your own road, but when you manage to reach your goal with your own mindset and path, it’s the most rewarding thing ever. I guess, what I also appreciate about self-reliance is the fact that you become indepepndent (which is not synonomous to being disconnected or need no one) but you can get by most of the time since you know how to handle stuff on your own, even if the things/people you depend on are not there for any reason. it’s like code dependencies, the less the better to perform standalone. I guess maybe this value is influenced by my emotional attachment to this narrative as a kid, take Mulan (now you know why all this mulan photos) the fact that you go and just do what feels like the right thing to do from your place even if you have to do it on your own and learn to take responsibility for your own actions, and sometimes this responsiblity can be of failure too.

value picked : mulan trying so hard to get the arrow at the top of the pole

3. Openness

This is my most valued value of them all. I owe my life to this value. being open with yourself, others and life can teach loads. it makes me go places I never thought I would and this consequently makes me more understanding and empathetic about others and their values also about concepts in life itself. if I’m open, then I don’t stick to one mantra or concept but it also means I’m always building on them or questioning them to improve my stance. openness can be in everything, it’s how I think about myself and others, culture, beliefs, science, and food :D JK,but being open about food proves to be rewarding. I guess I learned a lot about life and myself when I tried to open more space in my mind to accomodate more and try as much as I can to get a step closer towards what I don’t yet understand, and it always works out and then you feel more lighter as you are not limited by your initial point in time where you didn’t yet get it.

4. Curiosity

It’s a little bit self-explanatory. but curiosity is the value that makes me want to keep learning and explroing stuff, even those I’m not comfortable with. for the sake of quenching this itch that’s always growing on you to understand how something works or what is it and what you can do with it s well. It’s just there to push my limits.