An ethical dilemma is a conflict situation in which what’s “right” isn’t always clear cut or obvious. Therefore here’s a process to consider in resolving an ethical dilemma.
1. The leader attempts to clarify any ambiguous facts in the dilemma.
2. The leader encourages a broad reaction to the dilemma by asking open –ended questions like:
“The issue,(not the behavior), here is……..”
“A solution would need to consider…….”
3. The leader helps those involved understand, and clarify the positions taken by each.
Then you are no longer dilemma-oriented, but in a process in which each person can respectfully challenge another’s thinking/reasoning.
4. Through probes and analogies, the leader attempts to place particular opinions that are in conflict in perspective, thus the group moves to a greater understanding of the dilemma and the ethical concepts it contains.
The process certainly involves certain soft skills such as listening, re-directing emotional energy, creating an environment of trust and honest dialogue by setting guidelines like:
1. Everybody speaks their “truth”. It may not be” THE truth” but it’s their truth and needs to be respected.
2. Perceptions determine attitudes and attitudes determine behavior. Perceptions are neither right or wrong. They just are.
3. The leader is the facilitator, a catalyst, by which there is no judgment only analysis to allow the group to come to ethical consensus and solution.
4. The purpose is collaboration and a process that can foster collaboration creating a non-threatening environment of valuing the opinions, insights and wisdom of those involved in the process.