Whenever l listen to the song by the America singer, Beyonce “Me, Myself and I” it makes me think about values, beliefs and attitudes. I know the original song refers to a breakup. I find the title of this song ideal to describe our role, and how we relate to our working environment. We are not an empty vessel. No one should assume we are. We have our own beliefs, values and experiences that influence our view of the world. We should acknowledge that it is natural to relate or respond to people more positively if they share your values.
As a worker, it is essential we acknowledge this as part of our professionalism and practice. We should not impose our own values and beliefs on the people who use our services.
The context of time and location matters to this debate. Your values can vary depending on situation and time. At one time your primary aim could be safety. On another it could be health. Values therefore influence how we relate to our work environment and influence decisions. Values can be learned from your upbringing and others such as people who have had an influence in your life. This could include culture, religion, technology, social media, family, peers, significant life events and education.
Values are often referred to as the standards you hold dear. This could include education, behaviour and lifestyle. Values can easily influence your decision-making, impartiality and your practice such as respect and being selective with information being given. You should also remember values vary with each society, culture and community.
This course requires you to reflect on how this impacts on your practice. We go back to that title of that song again. I view the ‘Me ‘part as referring to you as an ordinary individual. The ‘Myself’ refers to you as well but having been influenced by values. ‘I’ refers to you and the expectations placed on your in your professional capacity. You can consider using reflective approaches such as Schon, John P and Gibbs. This will help you to fully understand yourself, reduce risks of bias and assists you to aim for the professional you.
You will meet people with needs that might not confirm to the beliefs or values you hold dear. Their priorities could very much be different to what you regard as the norm. You have at all times rely on the ‘l’ person referred in Beyonce song. You should not allow your personal values to influence or impact on the level of support to people who use your services. Remember to always use the person-centered approach to start your support from the values of people who use your services. We should not be blind of other people’s values and beliefs. You should also be aware of your duty under the Equality Act 2010.
You should not be judgmental on people based on their appearance, gender, religion, culture, language, family life and any other characteristic. Stay away from stereotypes. We are not asking you to ditch your values. We are asking you to be professional. Where you struggle to shrug any of your personal beliefs please consider asking for assistance following your organisational procedures. You might be subject to disciplinary procedures should you be found to have prejudice people who use your services. It is also a good idea to try your best to maintain boundaries with people who use your services and other professionals and not share your personal values. There is a risk of this backfiring and leading to all sorts of controversies and trouble.