Ethics Training Shouldn’t Be Boring

Ethics Training Shouldn’t be Boring

Keeping people engaged in the process of learning about ethical leadership is important. I see tweets from people attending ethics classes about how bored they are and how they already know the material that’s being reviewed. Are these participants learning? Will they be ready to make ethical choices when they encounter complex situations?

Use Stories and Case Studies 

People learn how to lead through complex situations responsibly by discussing the complex situations that they struggle with in their day-to-day leadership.  Stories, case studies and examples based on real ethical issues that have happened in our company or elsewhere (with the names changed to protect privacy) help learners relate to ethical issues in the workplace in a new way. They can see the kinds of problems that happen and discuss appropriate ways to handle the situation, with feedback provided by a facilitator.

Engage Learners by Solving Their Real Problems. That’s Rarely Boring!

When we’re talking with leaders about the real problems they face in the grey areas of ethical leadership, and helping them resolve them ethically, that process is rarely boring!

Help Leaders Perform Ethically in the Midst of Complexity

Engaging ethics training for leaders goes well beyond the obvious ethical violations and “Ethics 101″ topics and helps them behave and think in ethical ways that support our company’s ethical performance expectations in the midst of complexity. 


Creating Engaging Ethics and Compliance Training by the Corporate Executive Board at

Questions for Discussion

1. How well does our ethical leadership training engage learners?

2. How well do we incorporate stories and cases that are challenging and real?

3. How well do we go beyond “Ethics 101″ topics and cover issues that are real to participants?

4. How could we ensure that our leaders are more fully engaged in the process?

Linda Fisher Thornton is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Leadership for the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies. She is also CEO/Owner of Leading in Context LLC, a consulting firm helping business leaders lead responsibly in a complex world.  Her Leading in Context® Store  sells complete training modules, discussion guides and graphics supporting today’s ethical business leadership.

About Linda Fisher Thornton
Author of 7 Lenses, Speaker, Bringing Out the Best in People and Organizations Through Proactive Ethical Leadership, CEO Leading in Context, 2014 Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior, Adj. Assist. Prof. of Ethics and Leadership, UR SPCS

2 Responses to Ethics Training Shouldn’t Be Boring

  1. Pingback: Ethics Training Shouldn't Be Boring « Leading in Context « Ethics Find

  2. Pingback: Ethics Training Shouldn’t Be Boring | Museums and Ethics |

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