Are you someone who makes decisions and are okay with accepting your results and outcomes? Or do you feel more content when others are making decisions and you take the action that is necessary for implementation? There are many things that can impede ethical decision making. Let’s look at a few of the most common pitfalls and excuses and how you can avoid them.
The decision is just too difficult. I’m not going to do anything.
Thinking this means you’ve made a decision anyway, a decision to let the unethical behavior continue. Unfortunately, it’s a snap decision based on a premise that making a decision will be a hard process with little to no reward. Trust us, it’s better to take the time to think through the decision properly rather than to use this excuse.
There’s nothing I can do.
If there’s a moral dilemma that you’ve noticed in your workplace, then there definitely is some course of action that you can take, even if it’s just prodding the right person to take action.
My job is too important to make any other decision.
What if your job asked you to sacrifice your children to an ancient god? Don’t let blind loyalty to your job be an excuse for a poor decision.
I was just following orders.
If you’re a robot, then this excuse is acceptable. Otherwise, you need to accept responsibility for your decisions.
I have to remain loyal.
Let’s say you decide to hide evidence of your supervisor’s embezzlement so that he or she won’t go to jail. Of course, that benefits your supervisor in the short term. In the long term, however, you’re not doing them any favors and you’re certainly not acting in their best interest.
I didn’t have time to make the right decision.
It is crucial that you take every potential ethical dilemma and think about it. If you need more time, say so. If you think there is a potential dilemma, say so. Don’t use time pressures of the office as an excuse for bad decisions.