Four Ways to Uncover Someone’s True Values

Whether speaking with a prospective hire, building a relationship with a partner, or mentoring a colleague, uncovering someone’s authentic system of values can be a tricky maneuver to pull off in conversation.

Unreasonable’s CEO Daniel Epstein shared a fireside chat with Caroline Whaley, founder of executive coaching company Tiger for a Day, about simple tactics that can be used to discern someone’s true values.

About the author



This site is run by the team at Unreasonable Group. We designed Unreasonable to serve as a catalyst for entrepreneurship in the 21st century and harness its collective power to address the greatest challenges of our time.

  • Ryan Tagawa

    Simply by learning the values of others you can gain insight into who they are as a worker and as a person, from their work ethic to what truly drives them. With these things in mind it makes it easier to really push them and force them to excel. A few months ago I asked several of the people around me similar questions, and although I did get the answer to the questions I asked, I learned so much more about why they work and do the things that they do, though the values that were portrayed within their answers. I also agree with video when she speaks about the ability to work on strengths. I do believe that weaknesses are not only something that can be worked on and strengthened, but, more often than not, can be compensated for or complemented by different working environments, expectations, and teammates/colleges. In comparison to values, which are nearly impossible to change or manipulate in any way.

  • Ian Pastorius

    Learning someone’s values is incredibly important in any kind of relationship, but applies especially in a business relationship. It is vital to understand the values, strengths, weaknesses, etc. of those who you will be working closely with or will have interaction with in your business or entrepreneurial ventures. The person being interviewed in this specific video identified some key questions that can be asked of people to help identify what really lies at the core of their being. When I thought about these questions from my own perspective, it became clear to me that if I was asked, someone would be able to get a sense of who I truly am as a person. Being able to identify someone’s values gives you a massive amount of insight into their being. You can determine things like their work ethic, predict business decisions, and determine their compatibility with others or in your business as a whole. The ability to identify someone’s values is a key step to being successful in the business world and in your own company as a whole.

  • James Finch

    This video was compelling to me because it reminded me that every person has their own drives and goals in life. In college, having so many short conversations has made me feel like I have failed to get to know people truly. The simple questions that she brought up shows how willingly people will open up because all people are looking for connections. But it is also necessary to ask yourself these same questions. Discovering what is holding you back is the only way growth can happen. This relates to the idea of comfort zones, entrepreneurs need to be always pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones because in reality nobody has any idea when they are first starting it is up to themselves to learn along the way.