Ethics is something that can affect someone in their personal and professional life.
Typically, when people think of ethics, they think of a person’s ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. According to Velasquez, Andre,
Shanks, and Meyer, of Santa Clara University, (2008), "Ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues." I am going to examine and discuss both personal and professional ethics, while explaining the importance of understanding one’s own personal ethical perspective.
Personal ethics are based on someone’s beliefs, values, and morals as well as determining what is right and what is wrong.
There can be many things that influence a person’s ethical standards. Some of these might include family, religion, and culture. Parents and family are usually the foundation of a person’s ethical perceptions. From birth, most parents teach their children the differences between right and wrong as well as how they should behave in public. Often, if parents have a good ethical perspective, the child will adopt some of the same beliefs, values, and morals. Religion can also influence someone’s ethical perspective. In many religions, it is taught that good will always prevail over evil, which can be a foundation for a person’s ethical decisions. Another influence on a person’s ethical perspective is culture. Each culture has cultural norms, which is what the majority of people use and follow. In many cultures, going against cultural norms such as committing a crime, which would be considered wrong, would be reprimanded or possibly endure time in jail.
Professional ethics may include showing integrity, being honest, and showing respect to other co-workers as well as clients in the workplace. Like personal ethics, professional ethics can also be influenced by a person’s family, religion, and culture. It is often thought that if a person has a good personal ethical perspective then they will also have a good professional ethical perspective. While this may be correct in most cases, it is not in all cases. For example, I worked with someone who had a good personal ethical perspective. He was a good Christian man who followed cultural norms and made good choices. However, during work, he was caught stealing money from a register and was terminated. It was a very big surprise because I thought of him as a person who had good beliefs, values, and
ethics2 morals. Some people who are ethically good in their personal lives may be ethically corrupt in their professional lives.
In the ethical awareness inventory, my ethical perspective is based “on the results or consequences of [my] actions. [I] believe that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest good for the greatest number of persons.” (ethicstwi.org, 2008). I found this to be interesting and very much on target because in my personal and