Exercising Ethics

Workout the skills you need to make better decisions

Flex those ethical muscles with Merit Leadership! Our proven Field Guide exercises are a simple approach to strengthen the ethical environment at work, empowering people to make better ethical decisions. Using brief and engaging dilemma exercises, combined with thoughtful discussion, we help companies blend ethics into their normal work routines and meetings. We integrate new and innovative ethics strategies into current organizational culture, helping teams and leaders improve their ‘ethical reflexes’ in the face of workplace challenges, walking them through the different steps that lead to sound solutions. Each customized exercise is based upon our extensive research and decades of experience.

“I liked that it brought us into a situation where we can easily discuss ethical decisions.”

Upon the completion of each Exercising Ethics program, Merit Leadership provides an in-depth assessment of your organization’s current ethical environment. Our thorough feedback also includes an ethical roadmap for moving ahead, suggesting directions on how to navigate future real-life dilemmas through sustainable ethical strategies.

Here's how it works:

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1. Prepare your leaders

Ethics training works best when people are learning from their leaders. We prepare your leaders to guide their team through engaging discussions that strengthen ethical skills and build a vibrant ethical culture.

Each dilemma comes with a brief leadership training video and a discussion note that includes questions, wisdom, and the dilemma ending (more on that below). As part of the program, all of your leaders also receive a copy of The Business Ethics Field Guide for an added source of ethical insight. We also offer customized videos and discussion notes to incorporate your organization’s unique values, policies, or other important information.

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2. The Exercise

We use our library of true ethical dilemmas that come from our research to engage your employees in ethical problem-solving. We ask your people to give advice to the author of our dilemma—in this case, Clyde. Most people spend just five to ten minutes responding.

After they complete the exercise, we include a brief training moment where we teach them about an ethical skill they can put into practice. In this example, we talk about the value of mentors and invite them to share Clyde’s dilemma with a mentor and get their thoughts.

Each dilemma comes with a brief leadership training video and a discussion note that includes questions, wisdom, and the dilemma ending (more on that below). As part of the program, all of your leaders also receive a copy of The Business Ethics Field Guide for an added source of ethical insight. We also offer customized videos and discussion notes to incorporate your organization’s unique values, policies, or other important information.

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3. Team Discussion

Learning together is a critical part of ethics education. Once all team members have completed the ethics exercise, teams hold a brief discussion where they share their thoughts, ideas, and strategies. Leaders guide the conversation with the help of our discussion note. With an engaging, true dilemma to discuss, this creates a rich conversation for teams.

Past participants have told us:

“I liked that it brought us into a situation where we can easily discuss ethical situations.”

 

“I liked the discussion and thoughts that the case study provoked. It allowed our team to consider perspectives that were not apparent upon initial glance.”

 

“I liked talking with others about how they approached the situation.”

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4. Report & Analysis

The value of Exercising Ethics doesn’t end with the team conversations. We collect the responses and apply our unique analytical tools to identify patters in how your people think and talk about ethical issues. Each report does the following:

 

  1. Emphasizes key actions your managers can take to build ethical skills in their teams. 
  2. Identifies areas of strength and of concern, to help you target your ethics and compliance training efforts.
  3. Draws on current research in ethical culture, decision-making, and leadership to help you employ best practices.

These reports give you remarkable insight into your ethical culture, a notoriously difficult thing to measure. Because ethics exercises happen multiple times per year, you can track issues with more speed and watch to see if changes to your ethics and compliance programs are producing the changes you hope for. This is an unprecedented level of measurement and feedback.

Want to learn more?

Reach out to schedule a free consultation about Exercising Ethics in your organization.
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