In life, we are all faced with difficult decisions. Whether they are personal or professional decisions has no bearing on the level of complexity the human mind sorts through to come to a decision. And when we factor ethics into the equation, determining what the “right” thing to do can be a daunting task.
Fortunately, there are simple questions we can ask ourselves when trying to reach the right decision. In the business world, all of us need to read, understand and consider the ethics policy of the company that we work for. When faced with a business decision, the ramifications can be huge and affect a lot of people, including coworkers and the company’s customers. Here’s a simple test that we can perform to see if our proposed decision is ethically correct. Share the decision with our company’s president! If we are willing to do this, then we can rest assured that the decision is the right decision and follows the corporate ethics policy.
In our personal lives, we have to compare a decision we are about to make with our own personal code of ethics. What are we comfortable with? How will our decision affect other members of our family? Are the consequences of our decision worth sticking with it? Well, as you may have guessed, there’s a similar ethics test for this one, too. Share the decision with our mothers! If Mom agrees with our decision, we know intuitively that our decision is the right one.
There’s one more test we can perform to test whether a decision is ethical. This one is a blend between our personal code of ethics and the corporate ethics policy. We must ask ourselves, are we willing to talk about this decision during our next job interview? If the answer is yes, we are about to make the right decision.
If we are willing to take part in all three of these ethics tests before making tough decisions, we will have a high level of confidence that our decisions are ethical and the right thing to do.