Know When to Speak Up About an Ethical Issue
Sometimes you sense that something isn’t right at work. Maybe you suspect that a finance colleague is fudging numbers or that a coworker often sneaks out early. How do you know if it’s worth speaking up? Here are some tips for these tricky situations:
- Consider what’s really at risk. If a coworker leaves early, ask yourself why that bothers you. Is the issue important to the company or only to you?
- Understand people’s motivations. Before assuming the worst, try to learn why it’s happening. Your colleague might be fudging the numbers because he’s afraid of losing his job.
- Talk to the perpetrator first. Before taking the problem to your boss, give the person a chance to explain. Ask questions rather than accusing.
- Escalate when necessary. If needed, share what you’ve learned with your boss. And be open to new information that might change your perspective on the situation.
*Source: Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip of the Day.