The Negotiator Magazine

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We need to have people around us who have no other agenda than to do what's right for us. Whether we agree or not, that type of advice is invaluable in helping to discern which path to follow.

We need to be open to their perspectives, their honesty, and their genuine concern for us and our success. Any number of ethical issues, questions, and situations could be easily resolved by "tapping" the wisdom of those who have your best interest at heart. It certainly will cut the "learning curve" and keep you on task and better focused.

If you think about it, a number of us could have saved ourselves a lot of pain, agony, money, time, and effort, if we'd only asked for others input and used it!

3. STAYING TRUE TO YOURSELF AND YOUR VALUES

Let it be stated up front that this statement is not to be interpreted as what I think and feel are always right or can be justified; but rather, we are the sum total of all that has gone before us in our lives. All the people, experiences, relationships, etc., that have been influential in the development of our value system, are part of us and need to be taken into account in our decision making.

Whether the influences were religious, ethnic, political, or cultural, they play a key role in the development of who we are as individuals, not to mention business people.

That journey of life to this point instilled in us perceptions, attitudes, values and insights that have directed us as individuals and have been instrumental in the building of our businesses.

If that journey has been on of positive influence, we must stay true to it. However, if our journey has had some negative influences, we will be challenged to discern whether that's the path we want to follow, or we need an attitude check that may lead us to a more productive path.

In general, we must stay true to the essence of those values, even though the variables may change. For example, the Constitution of the United States is the essence of law; how it is applied or amended is the variable. All businesses need a code of Ethics for the same reason. People need to know " the essence" in order to be able to apply it. Everyone speaks their truth, but that doesn't make it "The Truth." We need to be in touch with our own values and yet be open to the fact that they are not absolute and need, at times, to be open to reevaluation -and maybe a new direction.

4. BEWARE OF THE ETHICS GAP

What is the ethics gap? The gap is what I know is right from wrong and I think it takes to be successful. Most people know right from wrong; however, when it comes to business, sometimes compromising those values can become a real "temptation."

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November 2005