Mary Gentile, author of Giving Voice to Values, came to the University of Arkansas on September 29th to discuss how people can effectively voice their personal values. The virtual event on Zoom drew in over 150 people and the audience included students, faculty, staff, prominent business professionals, and other members of the NWA community.
Gentile is the first of two guest speakers for the Let’s Talk Series, a collaboration between Walton’s Business Integrity Leadership Initiative and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
The GVV approach aims to equip people with the tools to voice their values. Gentile found that most people share five universal values, and the GVV approach aims to equip people with tools to voice their own values effectively by appealing to shared values during conflicts. Oftentimes, people come up with excuses or reasons for being unable to act on their values. However, being prepared to respond to values conflicts eradicates the need for excuses. Having a plan or scripted response to anticipated values conflicts is a key component in preparing to voice values.
Effectively voicing values comes down to “moral muscle memory,” or actions that should be repeatedly practiced until they become habit. The GVV approach can be used to navigate many different values conflicts, and Gentile showed how the approach can be applied to conflicts having to do with racism.
Ultimately, it is important to realize that there will be a time each and every one of us needs to voice our values, and therefore it is crucial that we are prepared to do so.
The next guest speaker, Ijeoma Oluo, author of New York Times Bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, will speak on November 10.