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Why we do what we do:

Our working philosophy of doing

work and dealing with people…

• Whether they are aware or not,
workers have a philosophy of
doing work, towards work and of
dealing with people at work.
• Philosophy – a collection of
beliefs and values an individual
acquires with regard to doing work
and dealing with people.
• And this philosophy influences
how they look and do their work
and deal with people.
 A crucial point is reached when a
person begins to raise questions
about what he or she does, why he
or she does it, and how his or her
dealing with work and people should

 As a supervisor, this question will

come to you every time…

 These considerations lie at the heart

of a working philosophy.

Why should a worker develop a
working philosophy or at least be
aware of his working philosophy?

 First, people already have a philosophy,

but this philosophy may not fit the situation
or organizational reality.

 Second, a philosophy may need to be

updated according to new experiences or

 Selective seeing and hearing experience?

How about selective disposition?

 While a working philosophy
doesn’t answer every dilemma
workers face in their daily
practice, a philosophy can help
in understanding the basis for
our action and decision making.

Becoming Aware of One’s
 Becoming aware of one’s philosophy
is a matter of examining what we do
and why we do it in the first place.
 The beliefs, values, and attitudes
expressed during this examination
are critical in the formulation of a
working philosophy.

Benefits of Clarifying our Values

 Everyday each of us meet situations

which call for thought, decision making
and action.
 Some of these experiences are
familiar, some new, some insignificant
and some of extreme importance.
 All our decisions are based on beliefs,
attitudes and values which we hold –
either consciously or subconsciously.

 Although ideally our choices should be
made on the basis of firm values,
frequently we are not clear about what
these values are. They change, shift
and sometimes become vague.

 A firm values framework is at the heart

of our decision making.

 People who don’t have a “values

framework” tend to be uncaring,
indecisive and inconsistent.
 Clear personal values result in a sharper
sense of self identity, more self assurance
and greater decisiveness.

 Decision based on personal values tend to

be made with more consistently than those
based on financial, political or purely
situational factors.

 The process of choosing our most important

values is not easy. One of the difficulties is in
overcoming the cultural and organizational
pressures to accept certain values as our

 Task:
1. Accomplish the Personal
Values Clarification Exercise.

2. Pick up and list the 5 values

that emerged as the most
important values to you.

3. Discuss and Share these

values with your group.
Engaging In Ongoing Evaluation
of One’s Philosophy
Five suggestions for ongoing
evaluation of one’s philosophy:

1. Begin with honest self-reflection

what are the strengths and
weaknesses of one’s
philosophical position as stated
in the previous slide.
2.Examine the philosophies of others.
Compare your philosophy to the
philosophies held by others in the field.

First, as you deal with people, ask yourself

“What are the philosophies of the people
that you have met?” – “people are naturally
good” or “people are naturally bad”? -
(theory X and Y).

Or perhaps “people are naturally lazy” so

they need to be watched and supervised all
the time… How about…”good works need
to be rewarded”…. How does your
philosophy affects your outlook towards
people and work?

Second, become familiar with the beliefs of
established philosophies…such as the carrot
and stick, modeling and others.

We should be prepared to regularly examine

our beliefs and how these beliefs influence our
practice – why we do what we do.

By doing so we will better understand our role

as supervisor, leader, trainer, mentor, or coach.

Third, talk to others about their beliefs

3. Consider the strength of your beliefs.
Are you firmly committed to each part of
your philosophy? Because of your own
reflection, from talking to others and
attending workshops, are you beginning
to question some aspects of your
Are you actively testing your beliefs to
see if these beliefs really result in good

4. Consider the organizational setting in
which you are working. How does the
organizational philosophy affect the
extent to which you can act?

5. Write it down – this will clarify and

focus your thought

The beliefs embodied in a working
philosophy should be congruent to
practice (walk your talk). An observer
can discern a person’s philosophy from
observing his or her actuations,
decisions and dealings.

Again, we should be prepared to

regularly examine our beliefs and how
these beliefs influence our practice –
why we do what we do. By doing so we
will better understand our role as
government employee, supervisor,
trainer, mentor, or coach. 16