Make an objective, balanced decision.
Imagine this scenario: Your best sales representative has a reputation for being a "ladies' man." You're fine with what he does in his own time, but he's starting to bring his behavior to work. You've seen him flirting with many women in the office – touching them casually and making sexually suggestive comments – and they're not happy about his advances.
You've warned him, and stated your disapproval several times, but he seems to ignore it. You're worried that if he continues, it may lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit. On the other hand, his sales numbers are very high. Firing him would hurt your department's earnings – and you, and your team, would probably lose that big year-end bonus.
How do you make this type of tough ethical decision?
In the business world, we sometimes face difficult situations like this. The choice between right and wrong can be hidden in a "gray area," making it hard to know what to do. So, how do we make the right choice?
Stephen Goldman, a lawyer and author of "Temptations in the Office," created the Foursquare Protocol – a tool that helps us make ethical decisions. It's a four-step process for determining what's truly relevant and significant in a situation, so you can clearly see the best choice.
The Foursquare Protocol helps you respond correctly to many ethically challenging situations. Follow these steps next time you're faced with an ethical problem at work:
The Mind Tools Club gives you much, much more than you get here on the basic Mind Tools site, including these 4 free workbooks.
And if you join before midnight on June 27, we'll also give you our Motivate Your Team workbook.
Join the Mind Tools Club before midnight, June 27th, and get our Motivate Your Team workbook (worth US$19.99) for FREE.
Learn on the move with the free Mind Tools iPhone, iPad and Android Apps. Short bursts of business training ideal for busy people.