ethical behavior

All posts tagged ethical behavior

Techniques for Practicing Mindful Awareness

Published July 25, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair
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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.
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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.
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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.

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“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
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Ethics and Mindful Behavior

Published July 21, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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What is the Right Fit?

Published June 20, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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For many individuals, the search for the ideal partner, group or organization to work for will most likely not happen in their first experience. If it does, most experts would agree it was a fluke! According to Baack (2012) it takes time and several goes at jobs to discover what that individual really wants from that partner, group or company (Baack, 2012). For example, an individual that values social interaction the most, will seek a person, group, or consider working at a firm where they can have that kind of experience. A person on the other hand, who is only interested in climbing the corporate ladder to achieve personal wealth and status, will pursue opportunities that can fulfill those desires.

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When an individual finds that perfect person-organizational fit, they are more likely to encounter many positive benefits from that experience. Most strategists will agree that part of career management requires a certain level of personal awareness with respect to what an individual believes is important. After that has been identified, then they can move forward to seek the best organization that will meet their criteria. In other words, conducting an assessment on one’s self is part of finding the right fit. In truth, how can you find the right fit, if you don’t really know what you want?

In my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013) I share several examples from my own career experiences of some of the barriers I discovered from my own inabilities. Not recognizing these barriers at the time, presented obstacles when making the right fit with partners and organizations. During my research work, I also discovered that mismatches typically occur for some of the following reasons: (a) a lack of self-awareness, (b) not having the knowledge, or a higher level of education to provide the tools needed to comprehend the right course to pursue, and (c) not understanding all the components required to create a fertile environment to help achieve that perfect organizational fit. What is just as important to acknowledge, however, is that while the search to find and secure the ideal connection is significant to our health and well being, we must also remember to make the best of each situation we confront along the way, because the learning experience of the journey is just as important as reaching the destination itself.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend everyone and stay organized!

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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. – Albert Einstein

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References:

Building an Ethical Foundation

Published June 16, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The concept of success is difficult to define because it has a different meaning to each individual. For some, success equates to climbing the top of the corporate ladder to assume the role of an executive office. Another person’s view of success is being in service to others, like family, friends, and outsiders.  Baack (2012) postulates that the main concepts that most individuals identify as personal success include: (a) building an ethical foundation, (b) training and preparation, (c) finding the right fit with an organization, person, or group, (d) continual improvement, and (e) achieving balance in their lives. He further suggests that each of these components contribute to a satisfying life, relationships, and career (Baack, 2012). In other words, success can be defined in terms of the components required to help contribute to the greater good. This also suggests that each individual is capable of assessing ethical and unethical behavior. For example, had enough individual decision makers taken the necessary steps, perhaps companies like ENRON would not have engaged in misconduct.

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To build an ethical foundation, one must begin the process by developing a personal code of ethics. This typically begins by enforcing the golden rule. Common sense principles like this can help an individual to establish personal morals. Also, additional training in ethics and counseling can help with moral questions as they occur. This supports the concept that ethical actions are the starting point and ultimate goal to achieve any successful outcome.

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In my research work on ethical behavior for Ashford’s MBA program, some of which is compiled in my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I point out that individuals with no oversight, accountability, or consequences for their actions can become a danger to themselves and others. In short, a person with unlimited power, without unlimited compassion, is most likely to cultivate a climate of unlimited corruption. In addition, it can lead to the development of personality disorders rendering individuals with an inability to recognize inappropriate behavior. In fact, they can become so disturbed they are unable to see they have a problem (Berry, 2013). Governments do their best to regulate misconduct with laws and policies, but it is really up to each individual and corporation to develop codes of ethics and emphasize the significance of ethical training.

On Wednesday, we will take a closer look at ethical training and the preparation involved to help build an ethical foundation. Until then … keep organizing!

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If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. – Albert Einstein

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 References:

Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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