Virtues and ethics refer to the positive character traits and moral principles to which you adhere. A person with these values would no more think of stealing pens from work than she would rob a bank. In her eyes -- stealing is stealing -- no matter how small the theft or the justification. Other examples of virtue and ethics in the workplace include integrity, courtesy and respect.
Your trustworthiness allows your boss and co-workers to depend on you. Your boss knows that you show up on time and are ready to do your job. When you can be trusted, your fellow team players don't worry about you being a slacker, because they know you hold up your end of a project. You've established a reputation of being honest and direct. You back your teammates when needed, and are honest to a fault.
There's nothing more important to getting along at work than demonstrating respect for your co-workers. When you temper your respect with tolerance and accepting others' differences, you become a valuable co-worker and employee. You always consider the feelings of others and don't take your work relationships for granted. You don't talk or gossip about other people behind their backs; if you have something to say, you say it to the person's face.
Playing by the Rules
An example of a person of virtue and ethics is someone who plays by the rules. You treat others as you wish to be treated and don't take advantage of anyone at work. A person with these qualities exhibits an open mind and is a true team player. Instead of taking all the credit for your team's project, you make sure that everyone who worked on it gets credit, even if you were the team leader.
The reason you always get those special assignments at work is your ability to be responsible. Some bosses often feel as if they're "babysitters" when they have to follow up on every little detail or task assigned. But that isn't the case with you. Your boss trusts you because she knows you take your duties seriously. She knows that if you have an issue, you'll seek her out. She also knows that you'll deliver the assignment before deadline or when it's due.
Compassion and Caring
Many of your co-workers come to you for help because you truly care about them as people and demonstrate compassion for their problems. You get involved at work; you're a good "work" neighbor and are aware that you contribute to creating a harmonious work environment. You don't pollute your workplace with anger, hostility or other displays of negative energy, and you value thoughtfulness by thinking before you speak.
- Josephson Institute: Making Ethical Decisions -- The Six Pillars of Character
- Houston Business Journal: 'Business Ethics' Goes Beyond Contradiction in Terms
- Federal Bureau of Investigation: Focus on Ethics
- Rebirth of Reason: Creating a Virtues-Based Business
- Psychology Today: What Are Moral Principles Anyway and When Are They Useful?
- Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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