The question of ethics is particularly important for a person who is both part of society and works with a group. The development of community and collective self is impossible without the struggle of opposing ideas and positions, and the collision of different points of views and opinions through which it is possible to overcome contradictions and disagreements. The relationship within a team works in a “mirror-system” where members can see their behavior reflected in their interaction with other people. An example of this can be seen when group members introduce themselves to each other.
Usually, group members gauge how they will act depending on how the first person introducing will make them feel. If they feel comfortable with the personality of that person, they will also act naturally. However, if they feel threatened or intimidated, they will also exhibit signs of such. Understanding this particular group dynamic is important in maintaining relationships in the workplace. Once members understand this, they start to create their own group values/culture of which good ethics is a foundation.
The presence of group ethics and values can lead to the success of a group especially in diffusing conflicts to maintain decorum and maintain work ethic (Green 2006). I want to point out an experience I had in which I acted unethically within a group. This instance happened last semester when I took a class in Entrepreneurship and got into an argument with a groupmate while planning for a project entitled “Blue Ocean Strategy”. I was trying to convince him that my side was right. I was on the verge of tears that I raised my voice and walked out on him, slamming the door as I left.
In retrospect, I realized that I reacted unethically to the situation. Since I was part of a team, my actions disrupted the group and affected our work ethic. But what was I to do? Keep quiet even though I had a good suggestion for the group? Let my idea be discarded without me fighting for it? I have tried to justify my actions as a way for me to assert myself, to make my groupmate realize that I was trying to contribute to the group. This, however, did not change the fact that my outburst affected my group’s opinion of me. Now I understand that to act ethically is to act calmly in resolving conflicts.
In defending my ideas, I have to be careful to exude confidence calmly and not arrogantly. Being aggressive and arrogant creates a negative feeling within the group. It is also important to choose words carefully when dragged into a conflict. It is even better if I keep my silence even if my groupmate is goading me. I should calm myself and wait for my partner to calm down too before we try and solve the problem. The Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu in his book The Art of War shared that it is best to win without fighting (Tzu 1).
Thus, the real winner of any conflict is the one who is able to prevent it from the start. It is an important exercise to weigh factors first before getting into a conflict. “What have I got to gain? To lose? ”, “Will these actions lead to a solution for the group or for myself? ” These are the questions that I will ask myself before I confront any one, not just members of my group. Conflicts will always arise whenever people get together. What is important is how the group will move together to resolve such issues.
Even though groups move in different contexts, whether political, social, industrial or domestic, the strategies to conflict management are grounded on one, same idea. We should always act and behave ethically and not let emotions seize our actions. Works Cited Green, Daryl. Understanding Group and Personal Ethics. Nu Leadership Series. 2006. EzineArticles. com. Web. 21 July 2010. http://ezinearticles. com/? Understanding- Group- and-Personal-Ethics—Nu-Leadership-Series&id=419973 Tzu, Sun. The Art of War. Trans. Shawn Conners and Lionel Giles. Texas: el Paso Norte