Kamal S. gives you the do’s and don’ts of practicing ethical conduct in the workplace.

The Oxford English dictionary defines ethics as: The moral principles governing or influencing conduct. Ethics are involved in many of our professional decisions – they affect us and the people around us. When we are dishonest, not only do we lose one’s trust, but it undermines our own integrity and it can be a double-edged sword at times. What may seem right to one person can seem unspeakable to another. Therefore being aware of how to make ethical decisions is an essential practice in the workplace.

Ethics expert Nan DeMars has identified 22 keys to help make your office ethical:

  • See things as they are, not as you want them to be
  • Lead by setting an example of good ethical conduct and good ethical problem-solving skills
  • Never give the impression that you don’t care that improper actions are taking place
  • Commit to being involved in the process
  • Anticipate ethical conflicts
  • Communicate well
  • Establish the language of ethics with those in your office
  • Expect people to have different standards
  • Remember that people are normally not as ethical as they think they are
  • Define ethical expectations early in the relationship
  • Support your boss’s efforts to uphold high standards for ethical conduct, communicate about ethics, and solve ethical dilemmas
  • Be patient with each other
  • Be consistent and predictable
  • Pay attention to details
  • Nurture the communication process with your boss
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Be organized. Stay focused
  • Learn to dodge the ethical traps of overthinking and cynicism
  • Remember that virtue is its own good reward
  • Protect your key assets (good health, strong self-esteem, and desire to improve a situation, good communication skills, and your reputation as a person of integrity)
  • Speak up whenever you feel more unethical behaviors are slipping in, or when you sense your collective ethics are getting sloppy, or when you think convenience is becoming more important than character.
  • Challenge yourself. Keep learning.

“Doing the right thing doesn’t automatically bring success.

But compromising ethics almost always leads to failure.” – Unknown

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