Ethical Dilemma : Practice What You Preach !
Ethics is About You
#1 Honesty Is a mental challenge
We all know that honesty is the best policy. I have authored quite a few company instructions and guidelines. The management expects every employee to follow the rules at any cost. However, it seldom happens. What are the underlying reasons?
I was at the office on a Saturday to complete a few important activities. I had a personal task that needs some stationery materials like notepads, pens, pencils. It would have been easy to pick up a few of these items and bring them home. The very thought provoked this question to me. Am I doing the right thing? I felt uncomfortable and said to myself it is a dishonest act. It is like stealing from your own house. I purchased the stationery items and felt proud about listening to my inner voice.
#2 Respecting from your heart
I pay due respect to my boss. It is something we all do whether we like it or not. The act of respect is due to the position. On the contrary many times we fail to show the same courtesy to our peers or staff working for us.
It was a Friday evening, and I was preparing to leave office. When I was walking out of the security barrier, one of the staff abruptly stopped and wanted to talk to me. I was not in a mood to even look at him for the simple reason it was already late for me to take my wife for a doctor’s appointment. However, he politely insisted that I spare a few minutes and talk to him. I agreed to his request and thought it was going to be a brief one. However, I was wrong. He wanted to speak to me in a quiet place. I obliged, and we found a location, but still, the conversation did not begin. He was nervous, and I asked him to take a seat. He barely was feeling comfortable. I was becoming more eager and offered him a cup of coffee. He refused and was attempting to share his thoughts.
Finally, this is what he told me looking into my eyes. He had lost his younger brother a week ago and was going through a turbulent phase in his personal life. He was very dejected and didn’t feel like coming to work. It was during this time that one day I had wished a good morning and told him that he was doing a good job. He mentioned that this genuine act of mine changed his mood completely. He felt energized and considered me as a mentor. I felt humbled by his words.
#3 Taking ownership for failures
We are living in a competitive business environment. Everyone feels happy and go to any lengths to mention about their contribution towards accomplishing a common goal. On the contrary, nobody wants to face failures either in personal or professional life.
I was leading a team of close to fifty members. It was an important project, and we had to deliver customer documentation on a tight deadline. Despite the best efforts, we failed to meet our stakeholder's expectations. I knew that one team member’s lethargic attitude leads to this situation. During the project review meeting, I informed the team that I am responsible for falling short of expectations. When the meeting conclude all left except the team member, who did not put in his best efforts. He came to me and said that it would have been so easy for me to blame him. By not letting him down made him realize his mistake. He apologized and went out. The story does not end here. When I came to office on Monday the pending work was already done, and the customer called and said that all is fine. The team member came and told me that he worked over the weekend and informed our client that the documents are ready for release.
The lesson learnt by me is to take claim responsibility for setbacks rather than pinpointing others.
Ethics is not about preaching to others. It is something that you need to experience and practice. It is about your conviction and demonstrating every day at work. Every act you do reflects your character. At times you need to pay the price for following what is right. However don’t get discouraged. It is in these situations you must not compromise on your values but strive to do better. No wonder you will be a role model.
Do you agree with my views? Have you encountered similar situations at work? Please share your feedback with me.