The traditional focus of ethics tends to be on rules, laws, policies, or addressing big issues like inappropriate sexual relationships, cheating, or stealing. Although these are certainly concerning, the more frequent ethical compromises happen with much smaller issues that occur in the office everyday (e.g., surfing the internet, returning late from a break, turning in a sloppy or incomplete report, treating others with disrespect, or not being honest. Many of these issues are accepted as "human nature" or dismissed as personality flaws when in fact these are unethical behaviors. While they may not rise to the level of formal discipline, each of these behaviors demonstrates poor character.
This discussion will explore ethics from the most basic level (everyday decisions) and describe why it is the small daily choices that end up dictating how we respond to bigger challenges. We will also explore the importance of on-going character "maintenance," explain why our mindset is a critical tool in ethical decision making, and describe why ethical compromises are easier to make than we think.