Moral Intelligence in the Workplace

Helping a coworker to meet her deadline shows compassion.
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Applying moral intelligence -- values of integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion -- to relationships in the workplace impacts your environment in more powerful ways than your amazing skills at crunching numbers. Moral intelligence helps you develop trusting relationships in the workplace. As much as you and your coworkers believe you hold high moral principles, it's easy to get caught up in the pressure of deadlines and lose sight of basic human values. Bringing moral intelligence to the forefront can positively change your workplace dynamics.


    A successful workplace begins with applying moral intelligence to your interactions with your coworkers. Your employers and coworkers trust you when you apply integrity and responsibility, doing what you say you will do and being accountable for your actions. Caring about others, tolerating mistakes and showing flexibility demonstrate your compassion and ability to forgive. A workplace that develops moral intelligence can boost employee performance and productivity overall.


    If your boss wants to create a trusting workplace, he can improve moral intelligence by mentoring employees to follow his example of human values. He can tell employees to stop making excuses for missed deadlines, coming in late or other actions affecting the workplace. He can ask that employees treat each other with compassion and respect. He can remind employees that everyone makes mistakes and to be tolerant of each others' shortcomings. Acting as a mentor, your employer can help you and your coworkers feel good about yourselves and each other.

Double Impact

    High IQs and technical skills are important in your workplace but more important is moral intelligence, according to,, a consulting group for improving the effectiveness of CEOs. If employees believe in "walking the walk" and not just "talking the talk," you know you are working with intelligent people who not only have strong technical skills but are people you can rely on. Applying integrity, decency and other human principles to personal values and actions can doubly impact your workplace with both a high IQ and trust.


    In a workplace with moral intelligence, venturing into new and innovative ideas means taking risks, possibly failing, and knowing that your employer will forgive you. You could be tapping into risky unknown areas to test the market. Knowing that you will be forgiven gives you the incentive to tap into the next market until you find a pot of gold. It gives you inspiration to work harder. Forgiveness as a part of moral intelligence is fundamental to growth in the workplace.

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