Why are ethics so important?

Why are ethics so important? Because you can't make good decisions without them. 

Thinks about this. What is a good decision? Or a good solution?  Without defining what "good" means in the particular situation you are in, you cannot answer that question.

All good decision making requires the active application of ethics to decide between options. There is ALWAYS some metric being used to define good. Whether we are talking about a good hire, or a good customer or a good solution. 

If we don't actively and explicitly discuss what we mean by good, we a) have trouble creating consensus and b) often end up with bad results because we used bad ethics without questioning them.

Whenever I am on a team having a disagreement, my first effort is to ask questions. What is a good outcome? Or an ideal outcome? And most importantly - why. 

For instance, I was at a tower company, a good tower to the marketing team is a tower they can market. A good tower to the maintenance team was a tower that didn't require a lot of maintenance. A good tower to the financial team was a tower that brought in more cash flow than debt. 

Until we talked about the various differences in how the groups were defining good, we couldn't get consensus on this question. Once we did get clarity on the various versions of what good means, we could.

Now, I know what you are saying, but Jennifer, those aren't- ethics, like we think of ethics. But they are. They are closely related to them. 

Once you start discussing what good means, you can start bringing in the more moral aspects of ethics. Do this help or hurt the community? Does it help or hurt people in general? What about the climate?  These are all valid ethical considerations that should be integrated into decision making, both on a personal and a professional level.

So, stop worrying about whether you can discuss ethics. You are already. Or should be already. And don't be shy about bringing in moral metrics in addition to the business cases for what is good. Doing so will elevate the discussion. Engage people in the problem solving effort and make it collaborative. 

As always, I do have courses to help you learn this. My courses provide certificates of completion and are approved by HRCI and SHRM for continuing education credits.

Reality Based Decision Making for Effective Strategy Development - https://humanistlearning.com/realitybaseddecisionmaking/ - 1 hour business

Principles of Humanistic Leadership https://humanistlearning.com/principles-of-humanistic-leadership/ 2 hours 

Or become a certified humanistic leadership professional - https://humanistlearning.com/certified-humanistic-leadership-professional/

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