Business Ethics

Remember: Developing a strong reputation for integrity is a key step towards winning and retaining your customers. Through setting and following clearly established ethical business principles, you begin to gain a reputation for integrity.

Business ethics are the moral principles governing or influencing conduct in an organization. In organizations with clearly laid out ethics in practice, such ethics form a key part of the organizational workings and all actions undertaken by the organization must run under the lens of its laid down ethical principles.

For many organizations though, there exists no clearly articulated set of rules guiding behaviour and dictating right or wrong conduct.  For employees in such organizations, making ethical business decisions could be an uphill task. This is because everyone views what is considered as right or wrong conduct differently and so, conflicts would emerge.

Over the next two weeks, we shall explore the importance of business ethics to organizations, as we delve into some of the payoffs for ethical behaviour.

Do you have a structured ethical code – both personally and business-wise? Build the starting blocks towards a reputation for integrity by crafting your ethical codes … … … Today!

Punctuality Matters A Lot

Remember:  Punctuality goes beyond keeping to time and meeting deadlines. It is a symbol of our value and respect, for people and policies. Importantly, punctuality is proof of a positive attitude that speaks of discipline, self-organization, readiness and productivity.

Often times, we believe that as long as an assignment is delivered, the time frame does not count. We turn up late to work on some days, because we feel that we can make up the time. We book an appointment and turn up few minutes later than agreed. Typically, we say “it doesn’t matter, after all, it’s just a few minutes late”.

The truth is that, it matters. It matters that people look forward to having engagements with you because they know that you will not only turn up, but you will be punctual. That is credibility.

What does it matter if you are the first to get to the meeting venue? You think you will be bored? No…. You will actually have time to settle in and relax. It is to your advantage. Punctuality makes you credible and reliable. You might think it doesn’t matter and that no one keeps count. People are always keeping count, most times unseen and unknown by us. This is an easy way to manage perception, for good or for bad!

Use your punctuality to grow your standard and general perception …….Today

The Ethical Model For Quick Decisions

Remember: The Ethical Priorities Model can be used when we need to make fast ethical decisions in the workplace. This model by the famed author; Nan Demars suggests that we should always filter our ethical decision making process alongside three key steps:

Does this decision take care of me?

Does this decision take care of the company?

Does this decision take care of my supervisor?

 

Where the answers to all these are yes, you are unlikely to be in an ethical dilemma. Where the answer does not take care of your supervisor or any other third party, then by doing the first two steps, you have done what is best for yourself and the company and thereby acted ethically.

Use the Ethical Priorities Model to make consistent, quick ethical decisions… … …Today!

5 Things responsible for your Attitude

Remember: Your attitude is your internal choice of reaction to a situation. It is a game changer that determines big win or lose situations in your life choices.

What are the 5 attitudinal reflections?

  1. When you are negative about things, it is not a reflection about the situation you find yourself in… rather it is a reflection of the type of choices you make, which says a lot about you.
  2. Attitude unconsciously becomes a habit that defines you for good or bad.
  3. When you are conscious of the power of attitude, you always choose the attitude that helps you win.
  4. The consequence of the choice of attitude are the type of results you get for yourself.
  5. Attitude informs belief, positivity and drive.

The 5 reflections on attitude will not only guide you in towing the right path but will also take you to your attitude.

Reflect on your attitude… … …Today!

PAUSE… Deal with that conflict.

Remember: No two individuals have the same thought patterns, or indeed, points of view, thereby leading to the well-known fact that conflict is unavoidable in the workplace. It is therefore critical to acknowledge conflicts when they arise and address it promptly to maintain relationship values.

Conflict is no different from fire, if not handled properly it can escalate and ruin values, structures and worst of all, relationships.

Do you want to resolve a conflict? Here are four key things you could do:

  1. Remove all masks to conflicts, be sincere about iroing things out and ultimately preserve relationship values.
  2. Communicate concisely and encourage dialogue as this will help identify the real problem.
  3. Do not adopt a Must Win Attitude. This always has a loser and a winner! Rather, always look for consensus; which is simply a modified position that ALL sides can agree on.
  4. Look for a common ground as this is a bed rock for winning negotiations and developing several possible solutions to conflicts.

The gains of resolving conflicts cannot be overemphasized  as this is critical in preserving relationship values. Resolve a conflict… … …Today!

Preparing For Meetings: APP

Remember: Every meeting you attend is your opportunity to shine as meetings are a central part of communication and cooperation within any organization. This week, we bring you the APP steps you can take to ensure that you are on top of your game before and during meetings:

Anticipate

If you receive an agenda ahead of time, take a few minutes to look it over. If you see areas where you may have an opportunity to take the lead or to provide information to others, make a mental note to use that opportunity.

Prepare

Do your homework. If you plan to speak on an issue, know what you are talking about. Make notes. Plan to keep your comments positive and speak with enthusiasm. The direct, relaxed approach works best. Get quickly to your point and stay with it. Busy people have little patience with more than they want to know. However, clarity and conciseness takes preparation.

Participate

Show high level of involvement during meetings by speaking up in these instances:

  1. When you know you can clarify a point.
  2. When you can supplement pertinent information or convincing statistics.
  3. When you can correct an error.
  4. When you wish to ask a question.
  5. When you can give credit that is due.
  6. When you have a good idea or an original suggestion.

Become a respected participant and contributor during meetings, by using the APP Meeting Preparation Steps starting… … …Today!

Writing Powerful E-mails

Remember: E-mail is the backbone of business communication. Although it is an instant way of getting in touch with others, many people do not know how to use properly. People tend to ignore punctuation, grammar and spelling in e-mails but this only diminishes your reputation as an individual or an organization. It is important that you maintain high standards however you communicate with others to ensure your reputation is enhanced always.

Often times, we get extremely busy at work and don’t have time to spend composing great e-mails. How do you then ensure you are sending a balanced e-mail that might be short and still contain all the necessary information that needs to be passed across to your recipient?

Here are six critical ways to help you deliver a straightforward yet polite e-mail to your recipient:

  1. Make sure you identify clearly the subject of the e-mail.
  2. Learn to be as concise as possible.
  3. Use an appropriate style to close off or open up e-mails so that you are less likely to offend anyone inadvertently.
  4. Always request the action or the information that you need.
  5. Be very clear by explaining how urgent your message is.
  6. For detailed information, be sure to use attachments to provide details.

E-mail is an instant medium, so be very mindful because you can easily create a message without considering how the message would impact the recipient. Use these tools to make sure your e-mails are well composed and easy to read… … …Today!

Easy Reading is Quite Hard Writing

Remember: When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. Good writers face the challenge of using plain language to express clear meaning.

They write in simple styles and constantly use words that are familiar to the reader. We cannot conclude that words are simple because they have few letters, they must be familiar as well.

A young enthusiastic, investment analyst wrote a report to his marketing colleagues using the word “dogmatic.” He waited for 5 weeks to get a feedback and there was none. Upon contacting his colleagues, they told him of their decision to severe business ties with him because he had called them ‘dogs in his last report’. A more familiar word could have saved him that trouble.

Simple words do not just blend into all forms of writing but they are easy and meaningful to the reader.

The desire to impress our readers via our choice of words often result in a cosmetic formation of complex words.

The singular objective of business writing is to promote consistent understanding across all readers.

Use familiar words to improve the readability of your writing… … …Today!

The Right Mindset

Remember: Just as it is a reality that the previous year is not going to be the same as the present, it simply means that you cannot continue doing things the same way and expecting a different result. Looking at the current state of Nigeria as a nation, it is equally important to know that capability will be tested across different platforms and it would be suggested wise to be exceptional on all levels, to ensure that you stand firm on your feet this New Year.

How do you get started on doing things differently this year?

Here are six important questions to guide you on how to take a giant U-turn into a better you in this present year:

  1. What skills do you possess given your job role?
  2. What new learning do you plan to deploy this year?
  3. Are you part of the best 10% in your organisation?
  4. Are you able to communicate and motivate in a compelling way?
  5. Have you got a competitive spirit?
  6. Do you take learnings from your mistake?
  7. Have you got a clear focus?

These questions have been designed in such a way that your answers instantly tell you your position in delivering exceptionally. If your answers are negative, it simply means it is time to wake up from being a safe employee to becoming the go-to individual. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the talk!

Do you desire success? Let this be the map that will direct you on you quest to exceptional delivery… … …Today!

Perfecting the Little Things

Remember: We are judged as excellent by our ability to deliver excellent results. The unsung part of that excellent result, however, is the excellent effort that has taken place to achieve the result.

Your excellent effort delivers the greatest part of the requirement for that excellent result. The balance comes from a unique combination of planning, execution and yes, good fortune.

Now, what is excellent effort? Quite simply this means giving your best, while doing everything that is required, the way it is required. This means giving attention to the many small steps that are required in your role, project, task or situation. We remember the words of Mother Theresa who said “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”

For example, arriving early for work, is a small step that makes a big statement about your excellence, at the start of your workday.

So be faithful in the small things and bring out your excellence… … …Today!