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Ethical practice - Lesson 4: your reflections

Welcome to the online community learning space for the lesson: Considering the implications of unethical behaviour. Use this forum to discuss the community reflective activity in the lesson. Read the contributions of others, ‘liking’ those you find helpful and add your unique reflections to the conversation by replying to this post. Click here to return to the lesson page at any time.

Community reflective activity:
Think about your own experience in coaching, influencing or encouraging others to behave ethically. Share your experience and thoughts.

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  • It is difficult to encourage ethical behaviour when the over riding focus is on bidding for new business or watching colleagues not take mandatory training seriously.

    Leading by example is a method for completing mandatory training, however encouraging others (management) to be restrained in promoting the businesses capabilities to capture new opportunities can be frustrating even though the risk of not being successful could be less risky than actually winning a bid.

    Negative influences if successful in application once can lead to this becoming the norm.  The impact of "being found out" would be catastrophic reputation wise to any business as a certain car manufacturer discovered.   

    A strong ethical business backed by appropriate leadership can make informed decisions based on reality which in the long run will be more successful and sustainable than those which work in a different environment.

  • Those organisation I had worked for have the same issue. It has become a culture in departments that most compliance E-learning courses or assessment are done by some other staff.
    L&D team or middle managers are not taking initiative or responsibly in explaining each department the consequences leading to heavy fines or spoiling the image of organisation.
  • The biggest struggle I am seeing with employees at the moment is when frustrated they become disengaged and start to show strong un-ethical behaviours which are having a negative impact on the rest of the team.
  • From my own experience, one of the tactics that I've used is to encourage others to think how they would think, feel or behave if they were the recipient of that action or behaviour. Whilst it may not work on every occasion, sometimes bringing it back to the 'golden/platinum' rule can humanise a decision, rather than it being made out of a knee-jerk response. Where possible I also suggest another alternative way of looking at a matter from a perspective of curiosity, so rather than telling someone what to do I may ask a question to encourage a different perspective. Some examples are much tougher than others though and it's helpful to know a little bit about your audience!
  • In reply to Laura:

    In the care industry I have seen this soo often, when employees are not engaged they cut corners to finish the job quickly. The solution in my person situation was to create a better work life balances by helping to generate more effective work rotas.
  • In reply to Emma:

    I really like your suggestions here, Emma, encouraging someone to look at things from different perspectives may well help in some circumstances - links nicely with the eight lenses that were introduced earlier in this course too.

    I think the difficulty lies in ethics being quite subjective, what I feel may not be right or fair may be totally acceptable to someone else - it's a difficult one, isn't it?!
  • In reply to Kevin Pollard:

    I absolutely agree with you, Kevin, negative influences and unethical choices are definitely in danger of becoming the norm, particularly when a lack of integrity is coupled with leadership "turning a blind eye" or actively encouraging the situation.
  • In my opinion, the most important thing is to behave ethically ourselves, role-modelling expected behaviours and ethical decision-making. Giving clear reasoning for the way things are done helps individuals to see why particular decisions and actions are important, highlighting potential implications of the alternatives. It's vital to encourage others to see the bigger picture and not just see their role and actions in isolation.

    As Kevin has already pointed out in this forum, it is all too easy for negative influences to become the norm if we are not careful and we have a responsibility to hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity, encouraging others to follow suit.
  • In my opinion, the most important thing is to behave ethically ourselves, role-modelling expected behaviours and ethical decision-making. Giving clear reasoning for the way things are done helps individuals to see why particular decisions and actions are important, highlighting potential implications of the alternatives. It's vital to encourage others to see the bigger picture and not just see their role and actions in isolation.

    As Kevin has already pointed out in this forum, it is all too easy for negative influences to become the norm if we are not careful and we have a responsibility to hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity, encouraging others to follow suit.
  • In my opinion, the most important thing is to behave ethically ourselves, role-modelling expected behaviours and ethical decision-making. Giving clear reasoning for the way things are done helps individuals to see why particular decisions and actions are important, highlighting potential implications of the alternatives. It's vital to encourage others to see the bigger picture and not just see their role and actions in isolation.

    As Kevin has already pointed out in this forum, it is all too easy for negative influences to become the norm if we are not careful and we have a responsibility to hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity, encouraging others to follow suit.
  • I have a former colleague who consistently used to say "be the best version of you, that you can be." She was (and still is) a human sunflower with a particularly bad singing voice (which still is.)

    So, as the abhorent and unashamed knowledge thief that I am, I've nicked that principle as part of a base ethos and use it as a guiding concept in my thinking around coaching and influencing, in the organisational sense. One of the predominant factors for me, is that for the most part, generally contextually espoused "ethical" behaviours are free.

    In simple terms, I'm asked by my organisation to be honest, impartial, objective and to act with integrity... Well, those asks are aligned with my personal values, so fundamentally I'm getting paid for being myself.. Furthermore, I simply wouldn't work for an organisational where that wasn't the case. Life's difficult enough as it is..
  • In reply to Laura:

    Yes, I am seeing a similar situation in my organisation. A recent change to terms and conditions and changes to working practices have led to low moral, with staff disengaging. This in turn is leading to negative behaviours which are having a negative impact on others.
  • In reply to Obaid:

    I agree with this, as it was happening in one of my workplaces too, probably still does. Who do you challenge if the supervisors/managers are the first ones to promote this? My question to them was what if one of the staff members injures her/his back because he did not learn the correct position of the body when lifting? The response was yes, but he signed the training, so he must know. But he did not do the training, because you did. Well, that will never happen. Wish I was HR to challenge this further, but I was just another employee.
  • In case you haven't yet seen these I thought it would be useful to share the link to a three-part webinar series CIPD are delivering on ethical practice at work in March and April 2020. Click here to find out more www.cipd.co.uk/.../ethics-at-work-webinars
  • In retail I had lots of coaching experience & what stuck with me fairly early on was that learning the 'what' could be very easy for a learner to gain from any number of people, places, situations or learning material, so I would lean towards teaching the 'how', which I felt offered a more unique learning experience which I was equipped to deliver quite well in an environment where that wasn't especially fashionable, despite it feeling 'right' & being woven into the fabric of the core values of the business. Towards the end of my time in retail, it was nice to see the 'how' gradually become more of a focus, especially through my own senior leadership development experience. Thinking back, my own approach to focus on ethical conduct was driven by a desire to see more of it being promoted & valued around me (not that it wasn't entirely) combined with the opportunity & ability to deliver it. My approach wasn't by any means unique, but I found at the time I made a conscious decision to pursue it as it wasn't built in to any existing training programme at the time, perhaps because of an assumption ethical qualities should be inherent & required no focus, but now forms an integral part of training at all levels of the business