Being known as an ethical person can greatly enhance your career explains Chi Chi Okezie
In our profession, we pride ourselves on the skills we have developed, and which have made a name for us. We appreciate being recognized as good communicators, technology experts, great organizers, dynamic planners or excellent with management skills. But has anyone referred to you as an ethical person? Are you specifically known as someone with a high caliber of ethics and integrity? We are quite aware of the value of having high standards in reference to work, performance, service, etc. But, why do we not apply this to our personal brand or career image?
Let us explore how ethics can shape our personal brand for career advancement and recognition. The question is: “How can we be more aware and implement our ethical value proposition?” We want to do more than just manage our career development and relationships. We want to excel by reaching higher heights while making a positive and noteworthy impact.
The Trust Factor
When a colleague, director, manager or even friend views us as ethical, this dramatically builds trust. Ethical behavior goes far beyond keeping our word. It involves the ideals which we embody and carry out on a regular or consistent basis. Certain behaviors can enhance our ethical quotient, such as:
- giving feedback which aligns with our expertise, knowledge and understanding,
- exercising behavior which is congruent to our beliefs and principles,
- interacting with individuals in a manner which stimulates equal and fair exchange,
- being aware of barriers or obstacles which hinder growth and finding ways to promote safe space.
Accountability and Responsibility
Accountability and responsibility are a must when fostering professional and personal relationships. Let us view this through the lens of ethics. When an individual values accountability, they are more likely to be conscious and intentional in their words and actions. The person is not only honest and willing to correct any fault but sees the importance of finding a resolution. This kind of behavior instills a sense of strong commitment. It also ushers in the opportunity for open communication. Open and genuine exchange can further strengthen trust when understanding is recognized.
The Call for Inclusivity
Being inclusive is not just advantageous in our industries. Various studies have shown that when employees, co-workers and individuals feel included, they have higher job performance, are loyal to their organizations, and experience an increase in morale. Being inclusive can involve inviting colleagues to events or meetings, when applicable or appropriate. It can also involve initiating dialogue and conversation in order to get to know individuals with whom we may not interact with on a daily basis. Extending our horizons does more than just diversify our connections or networks. It gives us an opportunity to engage in unique circles. We are positioned for being comfortable in uncomfortable settings. It sharpens skills which can be effective in our workplace making us flexible and open to change. These types of instances generate additional leadership skills, empathy toward others and broader universal perspectives.
Below are a few questions to reflect on toward our journey to ethical branding:
- What does ethics mean to me?
- What characteristics do I have which make me an ethical person?
- How do I express my ethical values in my daily work? Relationships? Attitude? Behaviors?
- How can I instill a culture of ethics in my workplace or communities? If one does exist, how can I continue to strengthen it?
- What are the benefits of individuals perceiving me as an ethical person?
Once we create an ethical and trustworthy image, opportunities begin to arise. We are confident in giving, or asking for, advice or assistance. We can leverage our ethical image to seek out involvement in projects or initiatives. It allows us to be assertive in proposing new ideas, policies and changes. It can also elevate our status and visibility. In essence, we are creating a platform for awareness and have an avenue for meaningfully connecting with others.