The A to Z of Ethics

We are often at crossroads to explain what Ethics is about. We are faced with the question on ethics perennially. To simplify this complex concept and to commemorate the first Ethics Month by Global Alliance I’m sharing 26 ideas of Ethics that help better understand this term. We can call it the A-Z of Ethics in Public Relations and for any business. 

Authentic work – The first step to good business is to create and promote original and genuine work. Not any that is plagiarised or borrowed from another. 

Brave acts every time – It is easy to break but difficult to fix. Having the courage to call out a lapse. Voicing an opinion when it does not seem cool is what this is all about.

Conscience that is clear – To be able to start the day guilt-free and end the day without an encumbrance is not easy. The right practices help achieve that.  

Discipline to achieve goals – There are no short cuts. Quick fix methods to success usually lead to downfall. A high amount of discipline is required to stay the course.

Enthusiasm for the right things – There will be plenty of choices. Ensuring that we opt for what is best for a majority is paramount rather than choosing what is best for a few.

Faith in oneself – There are times when we may end up standing alone. Having a strong conviction will always help navigate tough times.

Generosity with goodness – It is easy to be generous when we have plenty. To share when we have little is the hallmark of realm giving. Great CSR is built on this ideal. 

Helpful to all – Every business should strive to help everyone. First, customers, then employees, followed by communities and lastly shareholders. This order is crucial. 

Integrity as a cornerstone – Nothing can beat an organisation and its leaders who create value on strong pillars of trust, by offering the best quality product or service.

Joy of doing things right – There is a certain level of delight that one senses when we not just do the right things but when we do everything the right way. Learn to feel it. 

Kinder honesty – Kindering a spirit of honesty is not easy in today’s times because there is a notion that dishonesty can also thrive. That is indeed false.

Loyalty all the way – Just as organisations expect brand loyalty and employee loyalty, imagine the reverse where an organisation is loyal to its customers and staff. It is rare but doable. 

Moral compass at work – Wear a moral compass at all times as the representative of an organisation to be aware all the time of what is right and what is not.

Noble ways – When in doubt, keep it simple. Just do to others what you would like others to do to you. Noble is nice and strong in the long run.

Open to course correction – Being open to being corrected. A culture of acknowledging, accepting and admitting when the chips are down is crucial. 

Passion for ethics – This must be the calling cry every waking moment. To say and do the right things. To be completely invested in the cause of being ethical should be the default approach. 

Quality over quantity – Sometimes we get carried away in our pursuit to showcase numbers and deliver on a faulty idea. Reminding ourselves that in most cases, it is quality that matters.

Reliability is a religion – Ethical organisations and leaders live by the credo of being reliable. It is a combination of competence with responsibility. 

Sincerity as a hallmark – Make your organisation known as the sincerest there is, and let every stakeholder think of you as one who personifies sincerity through your actions. 

Truth always – Sincerity, honesty and truth sound like synonyms. They are in a way but to drive home the concept hard they are repeated. Being true is a quality that the best embodies. 

Understanding of straight forwardness – Ethical behaviour calls for a straightforward approach to responding to a call to action. And this must be backed by speed.

Visualise reputation – Imagine what respect means! Think of the power of goodwill! These can never be bought. They must be earned. Ethical people and organisations thrive on it. 

Watchfulness is key – Being alert, aware and mindful is the first step towards being ethical. If everything else fails, this habit will never let you down. 

Xcel with trust – The high point of all reputation building efforts is to ensure customers and employees develop blind faith in the brand. Ethical businesses do this right all the time.

Yearning for transparency – Every business should operate in a manner that they are ready for scrutiny at any time. This yearning for transparency is helpful in the short and long term.

Zeal for credibility – Businesses and business leaders that work hard to be credible beyond a doubt are built with a focus on ethical standards. 

A fair idea of the above thought process can go a long way in ensuring that #EthicsMatter and that we create an ethical business and an ethical approach to communicating.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

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Amith Prabhu
Amith Prabhu is the Founder of the PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS, India’s annual summit of reputation management professionals.

He is also the Founding Dean of the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe).

He can be reached at @amithpr on twitter.

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