Ethics is a part of our every day lives. From how we choose to interact with others to the choices we make, our beliefs and ethics are refelcted in everything we do. But how often do we actually reflect on these choices and what they say about us?
Join Us for this recorded webinar when Dr. Kimberly Miller and Roy Bethge are here to:
- Explore ethics from the most basic level (everyday decisions)
- Describe why it is the small daily choices that end up dictating how we respond to bigger challenges,
- Discuss the importance of on-going character “maintenance,”
- Explain why our mindset is a critical tool in ethical decision making,
- Describe why ethical compromises are easier to make than we think.
Justice Clearinghouse Editors (JCH): What do you mean by “Not Your Momma’s Ethics?”
Dr. Kimberly Miller: I mean that this conversation won’t be focused on how many ethics classes are taught (in style or content). Many focus on rules, policy, law and consequences and are very dry and boring. Plus they often use “extreme” examples of behavior (i.e., embezzling $10,000.00, having sex on duty, etc.), which most people will never do and can’t relate to. In this conversation, I will get to what I think the “root” issue is (character) and why we need to have conversations about the reasons why character and ethics are perishable skills. Finally, I think that the content I will cover will be new and different to some and help frame ethics in a new way. My hope is that participants can leave with some new tools and ideas about how to think about their own ethics and those of their co-workers.
Ethics is relevant more today than ever,
not just for the justice profession,
but for all of us is because of the crisis of character I feel our country is facing.
JCH: When most people hear “ethics,” it might sound like a dry or boring topic. Why is ethics so relevant – especially to the justice professional?
Kimberly: Yes, I think most people’s experiences with past ethics training is just that, dry and boring. I think a part of the reason why that is the case, is because people have one way of looking at ethics (right vs. wrong, and good vs. bad) and since most people see themselves as “right and good,” they don’t think they need training on ethics. I think that ethics is relevant more today than ever, not just for the justice profession, but for all of us is because of the crisis of character I feel our country is facing. Where ever you look these days there are way too many examples of people behaving poorly. You see examples on TV and in other forms of media, especially on social media. It seems like people feel much more free to say and do whatever they like without consequence. Additionally, once one person shows bad character, others tend to quickly fall into doing the same, instead of rising to show better behavior. It really matters how we treat each other, and from what I am seeing these days, people are not always careful in the way they interact with others. Finally, we forget that our behavior is a reflection of our character, not the other persons.
Participants can leave with some new tools and ideas
about how to think about their own ethics
and those of their co-workers.
JCH: What is “character maintenance” and how is it critical to the justice professional?
Kimberly: This goes back to my mention of character as a perishable skill. Most of us are proud of the way we were raised (i.e., values, behaviors instilled by our parents, manners, etc.) and because of that we think we have a solid foundation of character. What we forget is that even though we might have a solid foundation, at any time, we can go down the path of compromising those values we hold the most dear. Although most of us do not intentionally compromise our character, we can do so outside of our awareness because of exhaustion, stress, illness, lack of self-care or a myriad of other reasons. The reality is we are all flawed human beings who don’t always show up perfectly. The work is to remind ourselves of our potential to compromise our character, keep ethics in the forefront of our brain and intentionally choose good character in the face of bad (which is super hard to do).