Tools to help think about Values
Self reflection about Values
As for every person who is working in human services, there are a number of sources of influence about the values that underpin your work for the people you serve.
These sources of influence include:
- The values that you act on
- the values that your employer acts on
- the values that your funder ( for example the ACT Government, the NDIS, etc) acts on
- the values that the person you serve acts on
- the values that the other people in the life of the person you serve (for example family members, friends) act on
if these values are not well aligned in support of the person's authorship of their own life (what the NDIS might term, Control & Choice ) and the person's growing capacity for and involvement in valued roles ( what the NDIS might term, Participation in Community Life and the Economy), it will be harder to be truly helpful to the person.
To assist a pathway to true helpfulness, FPLs could take a regular moment to assess their own values and the extent to which these align with the above, and whether there are any clashes with the values carried by the other people involved.
The following tool is designed to assist FPLs to undertake this reflection.
Assisting workers to explore their values together
typically, we are each driven by the things that are important to us. However, we are not always that good about talking about the things that are important to us, and what they mean for the way we work together.
If we are not clear about the values that are important to each of us and our co-workers, this can cause a dilution in the work we do together, and will affect the outcomes for the people we serve. Even if there is a common work plan in place for the person we are supporting, if each team member comes at it from a slightly different value base, coherence is lost and in some cases one worker's efforts will cancel out the value of another worker's efforts.
One way to explore this is to run an exercise where frontline staff and their immediate service leaders explore the values they hold individually and collectively. We call this exercise Four Values, and you can download the facilitator sheet below.
It's a good way to get people thinking and talking, and can result in an agreed set of values that will help shape the team's culture and efforts.