Decision-making remains the cornerstone capability of people in companies. It is a function relevant to all, regardless of job title. A part of decision-making is the ethical part. There are five laws that guide ethical decision-making:

  • Consequences of actions.
  • Respecting the rights of all involved.
  • Fairness to people.
  • Common good to people and organisation.
  • Virtue: such as kindness, patience, and generosity.

The temptation to carry out unethical decisions is always present. These temptations are hard to resist when other people, such as peers and leaders, are encouraging it. I need not point out the deluge of corruption, not only in South Africa but globally, as people without fear of retribution indulge in unethical decision-making with no regard for fellow human beings and the environment.

However, people do not have to give into temptation.

So, how can ethical decision-making be enhanced and strengthened?

Besides making people aware of the five laws of ethical decisions and discussions about integrity and good corporate governance is to consider the development of emotional intelligence. But why emotional intelligence? Emotion can lead to our worst decisions or our best ones. The difference is emotional intelligence.

This is more than just an ethical compass; it’s also a recipe for success. Organisations with emotionally intelligent people achieve a critical lever of sustainable competitive advantage: a high performance culture and customer loyalty.

People with higher developed emotional intelligence grasp the importance, obligation, and consequences of making ethical decisions. They also engage their work better and influence other people more effectively. Higher employee engagement leads to higher performance.

Emotional intelligence has twice the power of IQ to predict performance. It is also a better predictor than employee skill, knowledge, or expertise. Leaders in business looking to strengthen their own and their people’s ethical decision-making can do so by developing their emotional intelligence skills. Emotional intelligence is not a mystical something given to only a few privileged people. Anybody can develop it.

If emotional intelligence skills and competencies such as emotional reasoningemotional self-awareness, emotional awareness of others, authenticity, self management and positive influence are well-developed, people will not only develop personally but have unusual clarity in decision-making and discernment. This leads to a good ‘climate’ in the company.

The evidence is increasingly compelling. The measurable, learnable skills of emotional intelligence make a significant impact on organisational performance. Emotional intelligence may be essential to differentiating world-class organisations in an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace. Companies have shown that using emotional intelligence in training and organisational change initiatives can reduce not only costs associated with turnover, absenteeism, and low performance, but ethical decision-making.

Would you like genuine change in your people? Explore Marcus’ Emotional Intelligence courses and workshops for your company:

  1. Leading with emotional intelligence.
  2. Workplace applied emotional intelligence.
  3. Selling with emotional intelligence.

You can email Marcus for more information at marcus@powerassessments.com or call +27 082 685 8896