Ever been asked to cover for a cheating colleague or dubious workplace activity?
If the television cameras hadn’t picked up the ball tampering in Steve Smith’s Australian cricket team last month maybe we wouldn’t know about it. But others in the team apparently did. Imagine being in a close-knit team, working together towards an agreed goal, and then being asked by one of your teammates to cheat for them, for the ‘good’ of the team. How would you react?
It is easy to be caught off balance if a colleague asks you to cover for them. If you’re put on the spot to tell a ‘white lie’ for a cheating colleague or if a teammate pleads with you to turn a blind eye to a dubious act you’ve just witnessed, what do you do?
You know it’s wrong. You know what you should do but in the awkwardness of the moment, face to face with your teammate, friend or colleague, there is a strong urge to conform, to let it pass and to agree to collusion. I wonder if this happened in the Australian cricket team?
It’s the difficulty of the moment which makes us vulnerable. So, the key thing you need to do is to buy thinking time. You need to step out of the heat of the situation to give yourself time to reflect – and only then decide what to do.
Our video ‘What To Say When You Encounter an Ethical Breach’ explores this issue and suggests three important questions to ask yourself. One of them is ‘What would my Mum (or Dad) think?’
Such a simple question but so powerful. This was perfectly illustrated by the Australian cricket team captain in his press interview on 29th March 2018. He referred to how his actions had impacted other people and broke down in tears as he said, “…to see the way my old man’s been…”. Seeing how his behaviour had devastated his father really brought home to him the seriousness of what he’d done.
If you’re asked to collude in something ‘dodgy’ or asked to keep quiet about something wrong that you’ve noticed, take a moment to think about how the people you love would feel if they knew you’d agreed to the request.
To watch the video and find out about the other two ‘test’ questions you can ask yourself once you’ve bought yourself some thinking time, click here.
'What To Say When You Encounter an Ethical Breach' is just one of dozens of short, practical videos in the Scott Bradbury ‘WATCH & GO’ library.
About WATCH & GO® videos
WATCH & GO® videos show people how to perform better at work by illustrating practical phrases and key behaviours in just a few minutes. There are around 60 titles, each dealing with a different management topic or ‘tricky’ situation. Learners simply ‘watch’ and ‘go’ to manage everyday situations at work.
Follow us @WatchGoVideos
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Video Views is the name of our WATCH & GO® video blog
See the country’s leading video producer in action and discover practical tips for engaging learners with video. Access our latest research and feedback from customers too.
Other Recent Posts
Innovation and creative thinking. People development programmes often include modules on these topics. But even if your organisation proactively encourages people to generate new ideas, what sort of hearing do those ideas get? And how can we, as innovative thinkers, make sure our proposals are properly considered?
Experts are people with a special, superior skill or knowledge in a particular field. We need them. In all areas of life, and business, experts have a vital role to play. But when it comes to managing someone in your team who knows more than you do, it can be daunting. Whether he or she is a subject matter expert, or simply has much more relevant experience or know-how, managing ‘an expert’ can feel awkward. This short article explores how to get the best from people with greater knowledge or expertise.
‘We’re going through a lot of change at the moment’, is a common refrain. We hear it all the time. The pace of change might be faster nowadays, but organisational change has always been with us. In this short article we explore the problem of change paralysis, the energising potential of change and the importance of understanding how change is perceived.
We all need to be productive. We need to get things done efficiently. And often that means wanting to be left alone to focus on the task in hand. The last thing you need is repeated interruptions. The irrepressible colleague who wants to chat to you presents a tricky problem: how to stop the interruptions without causing offence?
Coaching models aren’t always as effective as you might think. And few managers are natural coaches! How well does your manager coach you? And are you a good coach? This straight-talking video explains the purpose, benefits and practicalities of coaching in under three minutes.