The Trouble With Oversimplified Conversations
May 14, 2014 1 Comment
By Linda Fisher Thornton
Sometimes in the rush to make a quick leadership decision, we end up “dumbing down” an issue to speed up the process. “Dumbing down” an issue may make the decision easier to make, but it can lead us to make choices without considering current information, trends or context. Decisions made that way can cause problems.
It is particularly dangerous to oversimplify conversations about ethics.
An oversimplified message about ethics lacks traction in the naturally complex world of organizational life.
How we talk about ethics sets the tone for the rest of the organization. That means that oversimplified conversations like “just do the right thing” and “use the highest integrity” will be spread throughout the organization. If the message is not clear, we are just spreading uncertainty.
Oversimplified conversations about ethics lead to oversimplified ethical decision-making.
By oversimplifying the ethics message, we miss the chance to help people be successful, and increase the chances that they will make short-sighted choices.
To avoid oversimplifying the ethics conversation, use this ethics discussion guide (previously published in Training and Development Journal). It will help you have meaningful conversations about ethics in the context of your organizational challenges: Leading the Conversation About Ethical Leadership.
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