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The "E" in ethics is for people's experience in life. And my experience is different from yours. If you have any doubt, let's use this definition of experience. Experience is not what happens to you, it's what you make of what happens to you. Therefore, my experience in life is different from yours for no one "sees" the world the same way you do. Our experience in life reflects how we were raised. Ethnic values, political values, religious values, civic values, are all part of that experience that makes us who we are today. We can't separate ourselves from that experience. We can only learn from it. It's like we all come into this life with a pair of glasses. It's how we "see" the world. But if anyone else puts on your glasses, they will see the world differently from you.
Customers see the world differently from you, your spouse or significant other sees the world differently from you, your kids see the world differently from you! Therefore, I respectfully suggest that A) as human beings and B) as business people, we need to get into other people's glasses to see how they see the world, because they can't see the world as you do!
The values that we carry with us into adulthood, and into business are those which were modeled to us, usually by a parent(s) and family. We all have stories about growing up.
Now, they're funny to think about them, but it wasn't funny at the time. I remember two things that father "drilled" into my head that kept me on the "straight and narrow", ethically speaking. I'm a first born son of a full blooded Sicilian father and when I started to date and drive he sat me down and said. "I'm only going to tell you this once. You do anything to tarnish the family name, and I'll kill you! And then he dug a hole in the backyard as a visual aid!!!!! I was raised in Northern Illinois and the guys would go to Wisconsin for a beer, because the drinking age was lower then and I thought do I want to have a beer and die in the morning and have eggplant planted on my face, or should I go home and become a productive human being. I believed the man would do it! I still have a healthy respect for my father.
The second thing I remember him doing was when my friends would call up on the phone, my father would answer hello and they would say "Hi, is Frank there?" And he would say, "Yes he is and thanks for calling and he'd hang up!" I said why did you hang up, he said I thought they were taking a poll! They didn't ask to talk to you. He was a memory maker! So are you, we make memories for people everyday. The choice is what kind of memories are you making, positive or negative!
All our families, no matter what form they took, tried to instill in us values and ethics. We still, are the sum total of all that experience and it's that experience that we bring to business and our own families now.
The "T" in ethics is for Training. How have we been trained to make decisions? I believe that there three psychological "persons" that fight for dominance in making decisions. The first is the child personality and the child personality is motivated by emotions and the child says "Go for it!" Now let's think about this for a minute. How many of us have ever had a course in emotional self control??
Probably none and yet what causes most of the problems in your day? EMOTIONS. How is it in this country, we can get 15-18 years of education and not one course in emotional self control? That's one reason that we have jails.
What's temporary insanity? I temporarily lost control of my emotions and I shot her. I'm sorry. Can I go home now? NO, now you have to go to jail you idiot!! Think of emotions like this. Emotions are to the body, what gas is to a car. Emotions fuel your body like gas fuels your car but you don't let gas drive do you? Neither should you allow
Emotions to dictate your behavior. You need to keep your hands on the steering wheel of the car, otherwise it will eventually crash. You can't live your life on the basis of emotions. Emotions are temporary, but decisions made emotionally, can have long lasting damaging effects.
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Copyright © 2003, Frank Bucaro
Copyright © 2003, The Negotiator Magazine