Training on Good Judgment and Ethics

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about training a manager about ethics and judgment:

Where can I find a face to face training to send one of my managers that will teach him how to use good judgment and ethics?

Signed, Need A Reference

Dear Need A Reference:

It sounds as though you are talking about a coach in the area of ethics and judgment, rather than a training program. I don’t have a recommendation for that. However, I do have some suggestions for how to find such a person. Remember that one-on-one training is a skill, and not every trainer could do that type of work.

Also keep in mind that as a manager yourself (assuming you are the manager of the lower level manager you want to send to training) you are in the best position to know the judgment and ethics issues that have concerned you about this person. Perhaps you should do the coaching yourself or have someone in-house do it, using scenarios that have really happened.

In addition, it may be that the manager does not need training, but he needs the commitment and character to do the right thing. If that is the situation, coaching will not make a difference overall. It may be he simply is not a good fit for your company, based on his beliefs and actions.If you still want to find someone to do the coaching, here are ways to find people who might be able to help:

1. Contact others in your industry and ask if they have contracted with individuals or companies for similar training. That would ensure that the trainer is aware of specific issues related to your business.

2. Contact the ethics sections of your state government and see if they have resources or know of them.

3. Contact a local university to see what classes are taught there, and see if individual instructors have coaching experience. Better yet for all of this…have the manager make the contacts and decide what program would be best for him and why. Then, have him submit the recommendation to you. If he or she has a history of faulty decision making, put the responsibility on him or her to find a training solution and follow through with it upon approval.I have attended six or eight ethics training programs–one of them was a two week class, most have been one or two days. None stuck with me as being especially excellent, and several were not helpful at all.

Further, I teach a class in ethical decision making, and I’m not convinced it is particularly life-changing either! I don’t think it is that difficult to know what to do in most situations, the difficulty is having the strength of character and commitment to do it.As far as judgment goes, that usually involves having the knowledge, skills and experiences to allow a person to recognize options and pick the best of them. But, ethics may play no part in that.So, I tend to not think a “class” is useful. I would agree that one-on-one, scenario based training, would be more effective.Dr.Gorden may have other thoughts about this matter, or have someone to recommend. If so, you’ll probably hear from him as well.Best wishes in trying to identify a good resource for your needs.

FOLLOW UP This follow is from me, Bill Gorden. Tina’s reply mentioned that I might add a recommendation. So here’s my prescription. The answer you got from Tina Lewis Rowe, our associate Workplace Doctor, is more candid and modest than any trainer/counselor I know. And I can recommend no one more ethically high-minded than she. Look at her bio and also her site and I think you will know why I’m adding this second opinion. Check out her site http://tinalewisrowe.com/

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.