Magazine article Business Credit

Following Your Moral Compass in the Workplace

Magazine article Business Credit

Following Your Moral Compass in the Workplace

Article excerpt

An avalanche of corporate scandals has hit the news in recent years. Boosted profits. Inflated sales figures to keep stock prices high. Shredded documents to hide the paper trails. CEOs put on trial for their misdeeds. What are the consequences of a lack of integrity? Do we really "get away with it" when we pad our expense accounts, gossip about coworkers or fudge on our timecards? The answer is simply: no, we don't get away with it.

When we act in a manner that is inconsistent with our value system, we not only hurt the company's bottom line, we hurt ourselves. We experience inner turmoil: regret, anxiety, guilt, shame and sorrow. We lose self-respect and diminish feelings of self-love. We hurt our relationships with others because we lack credibility with them. People don't trust us and distance themselves from us. Feelings of guilt and shame may cause us to distance ourselves from them as well.

What makes the workplace any different than how you would act in school, a church or a courtroom? Your behavior shouldn't be any different in the workplace. If you want the respect and trust of your boss and colleagues, consider using your moral compass at work. Here are some strategies for following your moral compass:

Never allow another person to compromise your self-respect.

Gandhi said, "They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them." By choosing actions based on an ethical center, you do not allow another person to compromise your dignity add self-respect. Choice is key:

Choose actions consistent with your value system.

Integrity is choosing ethics above personal benefit. The fact that "everybody else does it" or "nobody will know" is irrelevant. Keep your actions based on your values rather than on personal gain.

Listen to your inner wisdom.

Listen to your inner wisdom. It's tempting to keep talking, but, rod often, we forget to listen. During your quiet time, gently reflect on an issue you are struggling with before, and then listen for divine guidance. The idea that suddenly pops into your head may be the answer you've been searching for. You don't need to go into seclusion to do this. Whenever you are struggling throughout the day, take a moment to pause, ask, and listen for guidance.

Live beyond the limits of self.

Living beyond the limits of self will make an amazing difference in your life. Help your co-worker with a challenging task. Keep the other person's best interest in mind as well as your own when negotiating a deal. Dedicate a portion of your week to serving others--volunteer in your community or at your child's school, bring dinner to a sick friend. …

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