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10 Signs You’re Not As Ethical As You Think

10 Signs You’re Not As Ethical As You Think

We all like to think of ourselves as ethical. Whether it’s at work or when dealing with complete strangers, our ethics are essentially what set us apart from other species. But while you might consider yourself an ethical person – you don’t steal, you always remember to hold the door open for the person behind you – you might not have the squeaky-clean ethical reputation that you like to think you have. Here are 10 signs that your ethics may not be as ironclad as you assume.

1. You’re Not Accountable

No one likes making mistakes, but if you find yourself looking the other way when (rightly) accused of doing something wrong, you’re probably causing someone else to be the fall guy. Not cool! Owning up your oops is better form.

2. You Fudge the Definition of Honesty

While you might never, let’s say, lie to a cop during a deposition, you might be fudging the parameters of honesty on a daily basis. Whether it’s a white lie as to why you were late to work or telling someone that you “missed” their ignored call, dishonesty gets the better of the best of us.

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3. Your Sense of Fairness is Skewed

In general, humans like to think that they make solid judgment calls. But your sense of fairness and equality is skewed by things like your upbringing, your education, even your geographical location. Think about it: when was the last time you thought someone “deserved” something negative, like a demotion or even spilling a cup of coffee on their shirt? If you see undue mishaps that befall other people to be a good thing, your sense of fairness may be off.

4. You Expect the Worst

When you’re ethical yourself, you hope that others maintain those same high standards. However, consistently expecting the worst – especially without fair reason – could be considered itself unethical, particularly if that mistrust causes you do unethical things, such as installing spyware on a spouse’s phone, for instance.

5. Your Thoughts Don’t Always Become Actions

“I should volunteer more often.” It’s an ethical thought, but without action those ethics stay firmly entrenched in your head. When your good thoughts don’t become ethical actions, can you still be considered an ethical person? Ethics are about a commitment to actively pursuing what’s right, so without the follow through your thoughts alone aren’t enough to cement your status as a morally upstanding person.

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6. You Don’t Care

While ethics dictate your behavior, if you simply don’t care about how those actions affect other people, your behavior can become unethical. Demonstrating compassion to all means working toward the greater good, so simply taking an “I don’t care” approach – even when you’re technically being ethical – could defy the purpose of ethics in general.

7. Your Communication is Lacking

Communication is one of the most important facets of ethical behavior. We’ve all plead a bad connection when we didn’t want to talk to someone on the phone, or made up an excuse about why we couldn’t return a friendly email. But while it might seem like no big deal, that blip in communication can put a strain on relationships, and the lying won’t help your ethical scorecard.

8. You Let Someone Else Take Responsibility

Blaming a slipup at work on another person may seem like a knee-jerk reaction to avoid a negative outcome, but it can seriously affect the person who then has to take the responsibility. An ethical person takes responsibility seriously.

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9. You Don’t Reward Positive Qualities

Whether it’s loyalty in a friend or honesty in a partner, remember that some positive qualities can be a double-edge sword. Even if someone’s positive qualities affect you negatively – your spouse telling you that, yes, you do look fat in that shirt – they should be rewarded and most importantly, reciprocated.

10. You Overpromise and Underdeliver

It’s fun to be the yes-person, who can always promise the world. Unfortunately, that world can come crashing down when it’s impossible to follow through on those promises with real delivery. Instead, tempering promises can help you offer realistic and ethical expectations as you remain aligned with your own ability to perform and deliver.

Even if you consider yourself to be highly ethical, you may be overlooking some of these relatively minor character traits in your self-assessment. Your values, morals, influences and even atmosphere can dictate the way you act, communicate and respond to people and situations. To truly consider yourself an ethical person, you’ll need to examine your thoughts and actions and see how outside influences are affecting the way you interact with others – and with yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Got ethics? via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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