Honorable Mention Chapter Award
Honorable Mention Chapter Award

 

 

Ask the Expert - Ethics and Reputation

By: Ted Miller, HMCC, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP, Enterprise Holdings | Feb 16, 2021

How do ethics and reputation work in the real world?

Question: I have heard many people talk about ethics and reputation, but I am wondering how it works in the real world. Can you give me some guidance?

Answer: Stated very simply, people buy from people they know and trust. If you know someone well and that when they promise or say something you know they will deliver. One thing you must always remember is that you only have One Name. Your name must always be associated with a flawless reputation in that when you make a promise it will be fulfilled.

Question: I understand reputation but I think sometimes ethics gets a bit overblown when it comes to business. Do you agree with me?

Answer: Absolutely NOT! Ethics is what separates people and inspires trust. If you are known for always doing the right thing even when no one else is looking, you have ethics. One way to look at this is to think of something you are about to do.  Would you want it published in the Washington Post newspaper? If you are proud of what and how you accomplished a task, then you pass. If you cut some corners and stretched the truth to accomplish the task, then you have failed the ethics test.

Question: Do you ever consider it prudent to give someone a second chance that failed you the first time?

Answer: If you are in a situation that requires you to engage with something who failed you, I would first question how and why they failed you. Was the situation unusual and the expectations were not clear, or was it quite cut and dry and did you feel contempt or anger the first time? If the latter is the case, then I suggest you avoid any dealings with this individual. From your previous interaction they have now established their reputation, and they are now in a situation of having tarnished it and created a lack of trust. Once you create this stigma you can never erase it.

Question: I have a situation where I need to use my friendship with someone to accomplish a task. Do you consider this ethical?

Answer: First, remember that friendship is a powerful resource, but it must be used wisely. You never want to put yourself into a situation where you burn your relationship with someone. So now carefully consider why you need the help from this individual what could happen to your relationship if things do not go well. Sometimes it is best to ask for their guidance rather than asking them to get seriously involved. If you push them you may accomplish the task you set out to complete, but you are now in a position of possibly compromising them. Consider quite carefully how much help from them you truly require.

 

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Ted Miller, HMCC, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP, Enterprise Holdings

 
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