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  • Writer's pictureJaya Koilpillai Bohlmann

Are you an ethical leader?

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

In a recent article published in the Research Journal of the Institute for Public Relations, Dr. Bruce Berger pointed out the disconnect between what leaders know and what they do. Doing the right things definitely does not come without problems, but the returns are worth the efforts. As a summary, here is a checklist of what ethical leaders should do based on research by Dr. Rita Linjuan.

1. Be fair. Treat employees fairly, don’t practice favoritism, and don’t hold employees accountable for things they shouldn’t be responsible for.

2. Empower employees. Give opportunities for employees to join in organizational decision-making and to express their opinions, concerns, and feelings.

3. Clarify roles. Be crystal clear about what you expect from employees, including their performance levels, responsibilities, and boundaries.

4. Genuinely care. Show respect, support, care, understanding, and compassion. Make employees feel included and appreciated.

5. Be accountable. Always deliver on what you promise, be consistent in what you say and do, and be accountable for your words and actions.

6. Give ethical guidance. Lead by example, explain ethical standards clearly, and promote and reward ethical conduct among employees.

7. Be environmental-friendly. Pay attention to sustainability issues, consider the effect of your actions beyond yourself or the interests of the organization, and care for the welfare of the society.

Rita Linjuan Men, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of public relations at Southern Methodist University and the Research Editor for the Institute for Public Relations’ Organizational Communication Research Center. Read the full article.

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