The Ethics of Handling Strong Emotions

Published July 28, 2014 by Mayr Berry
4.Ini-Penyebab-Pengantin-Baru-Cepat-Bosan-Setelah-Menikah.1

Many of us initially learned how to deal with strong emotions in our home environment. Those who had the most influence were the elders and guardians in roles as disciplinarians. As a result, we learned how to deal with strong emotions from the rules they implemented in addition to observing the actions that revealed their own coping skills when it came to handling strong emotions. To put it another way, when we are young, impressionable, and still learning how to navigate the world around us, caretakers that use yelling and screaming as a strategy, for example, teach children that screaming and yelling is an accepted method for handling strong emotions. However, this strategy rarely yields positive outcomes. In fact, it typically leads to the escalation of unmanageable levels of emotion.

Anger 2

As we grow and process different life changing events, especially those powerful enough to shift our views, our emotions become heightened. In my ebook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I discuss this further and explain how some situations can produce positive experiences for us, such as promotions, marriages, and the birth of our children; while other experiences can produce negative outcomes, such as abuse, divorce, natural disasters, and so on (Berry, 2013). When families find themselves in a crisis situation where heightened emotions have reached uncontrollable or unmanageable levels, many will seek out additional support from other avenues that can include the clergy, spiritual communities, schools, or other kinds of family support programs. There are a variety of different support systems that can provide beneficial assistance for helping families. Many of them also provide higher levels of education that include training in practices to help support the development of coping skills.

iop

Ethics also play a big role in helping us handle emotions. For example, to place awareness on ethics in the decision-making process, it is important that we first identify, then transmit with clarity, what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In addition, we must also articulate clearly, a code of ethics and engage in consistent action when implementing consequences for misbehavior and misconduct. This not only sets the standard, these are instrumental strategies for building and supporting an ethical culture.

DSC04871

Plum Village Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (2012) asserts that keeping open communication is also an essential component for managing strong emotions. Hanh further explains that there are practices that can be developed to help us handle strong emotions. The key is learning how to perform these practices when we are confident and feeling great, before our emotions are heightened. This is beneficial so that we know how to respond mindfully when we find ourselves in the heat of an emotional turmoil (Hanh, 2012). For instance, during those times when I feel that I am running on a short emotional fuse and am really having difficulty handling strong emotions, coping strategies have become a game changer for me. In other words, once I began incorporating strategies specifically developed to enhance my coping skills, it helped me manage my heightened emotions more effectively which in turn has led to  my feeling more joyful and balanced in my life with fulfilling relationships.

On Wednesday we will take a closer peek at how we can develop and implement our own coping techniques. Until then, stay organized!

********
It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. – Albert Einstein
********

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

Techniques for Practicing Mindful Awareness

Published July 25, 2014 by Mayr Berry
5.23
Many people are under the impression that they don’t have time to practice mindfulness. They feel their day is already so full that they are too busy to fit anything else in. In short, most people think mindfulness is something that is only practiced when they can make time, like they do when they plan a vacation or an outing to enjoy nature. Mindfulness, however, according to Plum Village Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (2012), can be practiced anywhere at any time–at home, at the office, or even during a hectic and busy work day (Hanh, 2012). In other words, we don’t need to set time aside in order to practice mindful awareness; it only takes a few breaths to generate the energy of mindfulness that will bring us back to the present moment.
 original
When we are centered in the present and let go of thoughts about the past or the future, Hanh refers to this strategy as stopping. The stopping tactic is the strategy that works to bring us back to the present moment, where we can focus energy on our surroundings. The thought behind this tactic is that when we learn to stop everything we are doing, it can help us clear our minds so we can begin to see things more clearly from a new perspective. When we see with clarity, we are in a better position to understand the predicament or situation at hand. This is one way we can cultivate an ethical environment of understanding, compassion, peace, and happiness. In other words, in order to be fully present at our place of work with our colleagues, or personal life with our friends and family, we need to learn the art of stopping. Until we can stop and notice what is happening in the present moment, especially when we are experiencing heightened emotions, it will be difficult to generate joy, awareness, or compassion.
stock-footage-young-businessman-with-suitcase-walking-the-stairs-down

In his book, Work: How to Find Joy and Meaning in Each Hour of the Day, Hanh (2013) reveals how one successful business man has incorporated the practice of mindful awareness into his schedule. The busy executive does this by paying close attention to walking with awareness between business appointments. In other words, he practices mindful walking, placing awareness on his in-and-out breaths as he walks between office buildings at his place of employment. The business exec reports that people who pass him by smile at him because he seems so calm amidst the hustle and bustle of the crowds rushing by. Furthermore, the business man asserts that his meetings, even with difficult people, have become a lot easier and more pleasant since he started this practice. In a fast-paced world where chaos reigns, the evidence supports that implementing mindful practices like this, can help make the journey on this roller coaster of life more manageable.

Well, that wraps things up for this week. Wishing everyone a great weekend and have fun implementing your own methods of practicing mindful awareness.

References:

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

********
“Yelling at living things does tend to kill the spirit in them. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts…”  - Robert Fulghum
********

Mindfulness: A Closer Look

Published July 23, 2014 by Mayr Berry

drowsydriving

Have you ever heard someone describe people that act without thinking as “being asleep at the wheel?” This is one way to identify individuals that are not mindful of their behavior or actions. In my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I point out that unlimited power without compassion encourages unlimited corruption (Berry, 2013). In other words, people who are not mindful of their actions or behave without regard for consequences typically find it easier to engage in unethical behavior. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is the act of behaving in a conscious manner. Plum Village founder Thich Nhat Hanh (2012), describes mindfulness as the act of bringing one’s full attention to what is happening in the present moment. He suggests that when we bring our minds back to our bodies, we are focused on the present moment (Hanh, 2012).

female_meditation_7b

Hanh further explains that mindfulness is a kind of energy that helps us to be fully present so that we can live our lives in the here and now. Students at Plum Village for instance, are educated and understand how to work with this energy. Individuals are trained in techniques that will help them focus on mindful awareness as a means to achieve successful outcomes. To begin the process, they learn the practice of in-and-out breathing exercises. What is appealing about this technique, is that in various ways, any one of us can easily engage in these tactics to generate our own energy of mindfulness. For example, when we center our attention on breathing in-and-out, we are focused on the air moving in and out of our body, putting other thoughts aside. Hanh refers to this technique as mindful breathing. Likewise, when we drink a glass of water or a cup of coffee and focus all our attention on nothing else but drinking, he calls this practice mindful drinking. When we walk and focus our awareness on our posture, our breathing, our legs, and the footsteps we take, this technique is called mindful walking. All of these examples illustrate strategies for practicing mindful awareness.

couple-walk-dogs

When we focus our attention first on our breathing, Hanh asserts that we are able to unite the body with the mind, bringing our full attention to the present moment. From there, we can become more aware of everything that’s happening in that moment and observe it with a fresh perspective, without getting caught up in our past experiences or consumed by anxieties about the future. By applying these concepts, we can transform any ordinary behavior into an act of mindfulness, including brushing our hair, washing the dishes, walking the dog, eating, drinking, and even working.

anger control

Incidentally, mindfulness is not just being mindful about positive things either. For example, when joy manifests, we practice mindfulness of joy. When anger manifests, however, we practice mindfulness of anger. Whatever strong emotion it is that arises, if we learn to practice mindfulness of that emotion, in other words, acknowledge it, not suppress or act on it, then transformation can occur which enables us to find more joy, peace, and awareness. These proven strategies have been effective for encouraging ethical behavior with successful outcomes at the Plum Village Community. The good news everyone, is that we don’t have to move to Plum Village to have these experiences. We can also learn how to incorporate mindful behavior to achieve positive changes that can also help us to develop more meaningful relationships. On Friday we will examine some of the techniques to achieve this and find out how one successful corporate executive fit this practice into his schedule. We will also learn more about how we can apply these techniques in our own lives, anywhere, anytime. Until then be mindful and stay organized!

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

********

Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

********

Ethics and Mindful Behavior

Published July 21, 2014 by Mayr Berry

timthumb

It seems that we are constantly being bombarded with news reports of unethical behavior. What is unnerving for many of us, is that the level of misconduct is so alarming, that it comes as a shock to many of us, that these events are even occurring in the Twenty-first Century. Incidents like: (a) human trafficking, (b) government agencies controlling women’s rights, (c) world leaders who engage in tactics of genocide, and (d) corporations that mindlessly destroy and contaminate the environment in their endless pursuit to make a profit. What perplexes many of us, is that the more advanced and educated humanity becomes in fields like science, archaeology, and technology, that the special interest groups who are fearful of evolution and changes these innovations pose, become more vocal and work even harder to maintain their fixed views. In fact, some factions are so fixed in their positions they will mindlessly engage in whatever tactic they can out of sheer desperation to cleave on to their core beliefs, no matter how primitive or outdated those views are.

burger biter

For example, years ago in a private conversation, I shared my reasons to another individual why I made a conscious choice to stop eating meat when a complete stranger overheard me. This man was so overcome with emotion from my story that he felt compelled to address me. He did so however, in a defiant manner that caught me completely off guard. He was so moved by my story that it inspired him to go out and find the biggest, fattest, juiciest burgers he could to devour. I was dumbfounded that my personal dietary choice upset this person so much that he felt a need to exact revenge by eating a burger! It was clear that my conscious choice to eliminate meat from my diet for health reasons, was quite upsetting to this man. In fact, it was apparent that my being a vegetarian made this person so distraught, that he felt: (a) a strong need to make his views known loudly, (b) was motivated to take a defiant action, and (c) did so with an intent and determination to “show me a thing or two” by purchasing the most expensive piece of beef he could find to consume as an act of revenge. I was also vexed that because of his limited perceptions, he thought his actions would upset me. I can’t imagine what his response would have been if I had taken an active role in trying to convert him or others to become vegetarians as well!

I was now trying to process why this man had such a strong reaction to my being a vegetarian. It was evident that this was a man that had “communication boundary” issues in addition to his fixed position and passion about eating meat. When I was conducting extensive research for my eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013) I discovered that one reason we experience difficulty penetrating these barriers is the level of maturity, or immaturity, that exists between the parties who are engaged in transmitting a message (Berry, 2013). In this case, my private communication to a friend sparked an intense emotional reaction from this man, which in turn triggered his negative response to a total stranger. This incident revealed how a person with fixed beliefs becomes closed minded and even combative when their deep rooted belief systems are questioned. In other words, this guy was so rigid in his views that he was willing to engage in a strategy of attack to defend his perception of reality regardless of the outcome.

stubborn

At times, like many others, I can become a stubborn creature as well when it comes to change. Like most, my first response is usually fear and negativity. How will this affect me and my family? How much change is involved? Will I have to make new life choices and change my behavior as a result? Experts in the field of psychology postulate that the initial negative response to change is typical in human behavior. For example, when the concept that the earth was at not the center of our solar system, scientists were incarcerated for daring to make such bold statements that went against what the church authorities dictated during that time in man’s history. Was this a position the church held due to limited knowledge and ignorance? Or was this, as some conspiracy theorists purport, a concerted effort by the leaders during that period to keep the masses level of education at a minimum so leaders could manage and control them more easily?

One thing is certain, without implementing some kind of code of ethics to help in the decision making process, behavioral misconduct will continue to escalate. It is clear that to continue on a path of evolution with positive outcomes, we must work collectively on creating opportunities to grow and prosper in an ethical manner. In his book, Work: How to Find Joy and Meaning in Each Hour of the Day, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh (2013) suggests that one way to achieve this is to engage in strategies to develop programs and systems that encourage ethical and mindful behavior. These include tactics like: (a) learning how to deal with strong emotions, (b) maintaining good relations with other people, (c) keeping channels of communication open, and (d) avoid creating negative and oppressive atmospheres that pose a threat to others or the environment (Hanh, 2012). These are a few simple and effective strategies that can help us shift into making more mindful decisions with our actions.

On Wednesday we will take a closer look at what mindfulness is and identify different practices that can help support mindful behavior. That’s it for this time. Until then … keep working on your leadership and organizational skills!

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

********

“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do.” ― Robert Fulghum

********

When is Lying as a Strategy Ethical?

Published July 18, 2014 by Mayr Berry

social-responsibility-header

My research on ethical decision making revealed that in order to create and maintain a successful business, leaders must include ethical decision-making as one of the firm’s operational processes. In addition, they must also comprehend and identify potential issues and educate staff members on what defines ethical decisions within the context of the organization. In their book, Business Ethics (2013) Ferrell et al., remind us that more often than not, business leaders automatically assume their staff members will make ethical decisions the same way they do in their home: with family or friends in their inner circle. However, within the construct of an organization or work group, not many people have the freedom to make decisions on ethical issues that are independent of the organization’s parameters. Furthermore, their research also revealed that to help establish an ethical environment, business leaders must also take into consideration the many components involved with the ethical decision-making process, including: (a) ethical issue intensity, (b) individual factors, and (c) organizational components including the corporation’s culture (Ferrell, Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2013). These are significant elements that can influence the intentions behind decisions which lead to ethical or unethical conduct.

va oil

The media’s recent expose on the VA scandal, for example, revealed that the organization developed a culture that nurtured lying as a strategy. One reason was to ensure certain supervisors would qualify for monetary bonuses. However, this is an industry where implementing the use of lying as a strategy can cause great harm and brings extreme disgrace to their governmental organization, as well as to the public. In fact, the ongoing investigation continues to reveal, that this strategy yielded catastrophic outcomes including the fatalities of many heroic veterans who honorably served their country; veterans that trusted and relied on this government agency to provide them the assistance they desperately required in the healing process. This scandal was yet another horrifying reminder of how the use of lying as a strategy can have dire consequences.

lies

With all the evidence piling up to support that engaging in a strategy of lying can yield catastrophic outcomes, my research work also included a closer examination of when the use of lying as a strategy is acceptable and see if I could track down any examples to support this position. To answer this, I simply had to look back at my own professional career experiences to confirm that there is only one profession that I know of, in which this strategy is not only used, but is expected as well: magic and illusion.

As an entertainer who spent nearly fifteen years traveling and performing with magicians and illusionists, I can personally vouch that the career of an illusionist is the one profession where the public is happy to embrace the idea of lying as a strategy. Many magicians that choose to pursue this career path do so as a life calling. That was not the case with me. I revealed in my eBook, Ethics in the Real World, (2013), in more detail, how I got involved in this magical industry. The truth is, up until that point, I was focused on pursuing a career as a theatrical stage performer, but got sidetracked along the way when I moved to Los Angeles and infiltrated the music industry by becoming a corporate staff member at Capitol-EMI Records.

mystical

The magic industry was my first experience working in a profession that incorporated lying as a key strategic ingredient for how I was making a living. I had always been perceived by many as a “goodie two-shoes” because I was known for going by the book and following rules to a “tee.” For me, using tactics like misdirection and misinformation was a foreign concept. I had to learn how to think outside the box of what I comprehended was reality. Once I did that, I was in a state of mind more open to embrace different realms of possibilities. In laymen’s terms, I learned how the art of lying and misdirection are used as a strategy to yield positive outcomes.

Stage illusions and the art of magic, once rehearsed and perfected for a live theatrical stage performance, are merely a form of entertainment that incorporates the concept of lying; one that the audience has come to expect. Many people are accepting of this concept because they know the rules of this field before hand (transparency) and have given themselves permission to participate in this world of illusion. The reason for this is because it is one brand of entertainment that can provide the public with a sense of wonder, which in turn stimulates them emotionally. Furthermore, the anticipated payoff for this experience is that the consumer is left feeling positive and transformed from the experience. In a world where competition is fierce and life seems to be a struggle at times, people need and want a place to escape. The entertaining world of stage magic and illusion offers the public an opportunity to experience a different kind of reality – one where the impossible seems possible.

magic

In summary, my research work on when the use of lying as a strategy can be implemented ethically, led me to conclude that the industry of magic and illusion is one market where consumers have given their permission and expect to participate in the art of deception as a form of escapism and entertainment. In short, my analysis revealed that there is an ideal market for the use of lying as a strategy that can produce positive outcomes. Plus, I discovered there are effective ways to do so ethically: being transparent and choosing a career that reveals to consumers it is all part of an illusion. In other words, implementing this tactic is merely done as a means of entertainment, allowing audience members the opportunity to escape their problems for a little while to enter into a realm where the wonder of magic is real.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone, and keep working on chiseling those organizational management skills!

********

We can run a business by placing a lot of emphasis on happiness in addition to placing some emphasis on profit as well. – Thich Nhat Hanh

********

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Ferrell, L., Ferrell, O., & Fraedrich, J. (2013). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases (9th ed.). Mason: South-Western.

 

Ethics and the Strategy of Lying

Published July 16, 2014 by Mayr Berry
fraud-perpetrators
A top priority in today’s world is a firm’s ability to recognize and address complicated business ethics issues. This is due to the number of well-publicized incidents of corporations engaging in fraudulent and deceitful behavior.  In their book, Business Ethics (2013) Ferrell et al., revealed that once a firm loses the public’s trust after a highly visible business ethics scandal, it changes the climate and new regulations are implemented to make businesses more accountable (Ferrell, Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2013). The fact is, we all face ethical decisions as a part of everyday life. This means that we rely on our own personal views of ethical responses as part of the decision-making process. Ethical decisions also influence our work conduct and a company’s management goals. Furthermore, ethics play a role in the development of company policies and helps with setting the parameters of what constitutes informal communications, which tend to reflect the firm’s code of ethics.
Accounting-Enron-Scandal-2253
However, when the media exposed that trusted, well-known companies like Countrywide Financial, AIG, and ENRON had engaged in fraudulent and illegal practices, the world realized that they had all done so while hiding behind images of highly ethical conglomerates. In other words, the stark reality was that these firms had incorporated organizational management strategies that supported a culture of lying and deceit and hid it well. This meant that the leaders of these firms were either: (a) unable to make good ethical decisions because they did not subscribe to a construct that many leaders do, which is that mastering ethical reasoning is a component that is just as important in the success of an organization as is mastering accounting, financial, and marketing decisions; or (b) the firm’s tunnel vision focus to achieve their outcomes was more significant than operating with ethical sensibility. Choice (b) is the most common reason why many leaders choose to engage in a strategy of lying. This is because the marketplace is highly competitive and leaders are typically under pressure from the firm’s stockholders to achieve higher profits. For example, when a company is actively promoting and saturating the market with a new brand, they can choose to report what the firm actually sold, or they can engage in a strategy of deception by reporting numbers shipped, but not sold. This is one way a company can make themselves seem more successful than they really are. However, when a firm engages in deceitful strategies, they always risk getting caught and can end up like Countrywide, AIG, and ENRON.
friendship-betrayal
Many people in leadership positions have dealt with and processed their own experiences of betrayal or being lied to. They can either choose to behave like those who hurt them, or they can become motivated to make different choices. I revealed in my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), that as a result of the conditions of my upbringing and various life experiences, I, like many others, operate with a zero tolerance for lying policy in my both my business and personal life. In today’s highly competitive market place, we have seen, this is not an easy code to subscribe to. Business leaders however, can support this policy by communicating to staff members that they must be willing to work harder as a team to support and cultivate a culture that subscribes to a code of conduct based on everyone’s abilities to identify right and wrong behavior. It is the responsibility of the leaders of an organization to establish an ethical environment. They can do so by applying the golden rule model using compassion and understanding as an integral part of the decision making process. In addition, to help enforce these policies, the organization must be open to operating with transparency and oversight, clearly articulating the consequences for misconduct, poor outcomes, and the use of lying as a strategy. On Friday, we will take a closer look at when lying as a strategy can actually yield successful outcomes. Until then, stay organized!

********

Information is not knowledge. – Albert Einstein

********

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Ferrell, L., Ferrell, O., & Fraedrich, J. (2013). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases (9th ed.). Mason: South-Western.

 

Ethics in the Decision Making Process

Published July 14, 2014 by Mayr Berry

corruption-11

The media’s continual exposure of industries, corporations, and leaders that have failed to achieve successful outcomes because of ethical misconduct is overwhelming. This week we will take a closer look at some of the reasons corruption occurs and discuss various components that can help leaders create an environment that influences ethical decision making. In order for change to occur, however, leaders will have to develop systems that enhance awareness in the ethical decision making process. In other words, to achieve successful outcomes as an ethical company, their operational choices and actions must contribute to responsible corporate citizenship.

92829563

To begin this process, they start by focusing their concerns on ethical issues that they have and may face today in their industry. By doing so, they are in a better position to integrate practices that will support an ethical culture into the strategic decision making process. Because leaders and managers are the role models that establish an ethical culture, they must also focus on individual issues within the company’s environment. For example, one of the hardest issues for anyone to deal with is confronting an individual when they are caught in a lie. Everybody wants to believe that the people they are closest to or work closely with, will not engage in lying as a strategy, under any circumstance for any reason. But, we all know the truth – everyone does it. In fact even Dr. Phil agrees with this view. In his book, Life Code (2012) he blatantly states that everyone lies (McGraw, 2012). Sometimes a person will use lying as a strategy to get out of a sticky situation, like getting caught doing something they were not supposed to. Other times a person will lie to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings.

Ethics

No matter what the reason, the person feels justified with this strategy or they wouldn’t use it. This is where ethics comes into play. When faced with challenging obstacles, it is up to each individual to make a choice or engage in an action that will yield the best outcome. However, the manner in which they engage in this process comes down to their own perceptions and concepts of doing the right thing. Some will apply the golden rule and make their choices based on their own morals and personal code of ethics. Others may have a tunnel vision agenda and make their choices solely based on achieving their goals, no matter what the cost. Many want to do the right thing, but become confused because what is perceived as right and wrong behavior for one individual may not apply to another, or go against the policies of the firm they work for. In addition, many people are raised in an environment where corporal punishment is instilled for getting caught in a lie. The adults in charge, however, that dole out these penalties for lying, for various reasons, are the same people who are caught lying themselves - to each other, their families, and at work. This behavior sends a confusing message, because even though people are taught that lying is a punishable offense, they also learn that by imitating the clever behavior of those who lie in leadership positions, they too may get away with lying as a strategy. It doesn’t help that ethical issues are portrayed as laughable topics by many favorite characters on TV sitcoms who engage in the strategy of lying. From shows like The Big Bang Theory or Seinfeld, many episodic plot lines are centered around characters having to deal with the consequences of their tall tales once they are exposed.

Ethics Audio Ad New release

In my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013) I explained how my ethical views were shaped from an early age and when I discovered that telling the truth yielded positive outcomes. Knowing that the consequences which result from lying as a strategy are risky, it makes me wonder why so many people, including respected leaders as well as highly revered and trusted family members, engage in behavior that includes lying as a strategy. On Wednesday we will discuss this further and take a closer look at situations that occurred when lying was used as a strategy to help us determine if it can and should be used as an effective tactical move as well as when this choice can yield disastrous outcomes. Until then, stay organized.

 ********

You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. – Dr. Phil

*********

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

McGraw, D. P. (2012). Life code: New rules for the Real World. Los Angeles, CA: Bird Street Publishing.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 501 other followers