At Lifeworlds we specialise in supporting individuals and organisations to engage with, explore, and understand the impact of values. This is delivered through our Learning Through Values programme and includes a range of courses and bespoke support options.
This page shares our own understanding of values as an organisation and group of individual practitioners.
"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”
Anais Nin (1903-1977)
Through our engagement with values theories and the development of appropriate pedagogies for learning through values we have come to recognise that values are intensely personal and complex.
We know that the most important thing about values is to discuss them - to have open and safe spaces in which values can be aired, shared, and compared.
What are our values?
As an organisation offering training and support around values, we are often asked what our own values are. Our first response to this would be to question whether an organisation can have values? Values are motivations and so for us, belong to the people who make up and represent the organisation through its activities, partnerships, communications and strategy.
We also know from values theory that we all have multiple values (some of which openly conflict with one another) and that the extent to which we connect with, act upon, and reinforce any particular value or 'value-set', is very context dependent.
Whilst this plurality and fluidity of values is something we all share, we are also guided by a selection of dominant values that form 'habits of mind' or 'ways of being and belonging'.
It is these that come to represent what we stand for in our regular state of tension with self, others and the wider world.
Whilst we engage in a number of theories around values, we have found the Schwartz universal human values (see image right) model to be particularly useful in helping to understand the range of values and the ways in which values can be engaged and acted upon.
Using the Schwartz model the Lifeworlds team locate themselves predominantly within the Universalism, Benevolence and Self-Direction value sets. This includes values such as creativity, curiousity, wisdom, social justice, honesty, responsibility, unity with nature, equality, independent, broadminded, forgiving, helpful and meaning in life.
Whilst we will all be motivated by other values at other times and in certain situations, it is values such as those listed in the paragraph above that provide us with a sense of belonging within Lifeworlds and provide meaning and direction to what we strive to achieve as a community of practitioners. It is these that shape and reinforce the culture of our learning and our relationships.
As a values-led organisation we seek to incorporate these values into all that we do and take the time, both individually and as a team, to consciously check ourselves against our values on a regular basis.
If you would like to know more about our stance on values or talk to one of our team about supporting your own organisation/community to explore values then please contact us.