As businesses are beginning to re-open, many leaders are being forced to choose between competing values, namely the need to keep employees healthy and protected from a potentially life threatening virus versus the need to help employees provide for their families financially.
Choices between two or more actions that could be right may seem like a win-win but when competing values are at play it often feels like a lose-lose.
Further complicating matters is the fact that many leaders are finding themselves in situations in which their personal values are in conflict with state and local regulations.
Rarely, is there a perfect answer.
When viewing decisions through the lens of an ethical dilemma, the following steps may be helpful.
1) Identify the values that are in conflict.
2) Rank the values or ethical principles. What reasons can you provide for prioritizing one over another?
3) Outline possible courses of action that are consistent with the ethical priorities you have identified. Be sure to confer with other stakeholders and gather information about the potential risks and possible consequences of each option.
5) Develop an action plan and implement it using any available resources that can mitigate negative outcomes.
6) Reflect on the outcome of your decision. Use what you learn in as you work to resolve future dilemmas.
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