Implementing The Basics Of Ethical Decision Making In Your Life

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 17, 2019

We are making decisions throughout the day at every step. Right from selecting offers that would make our career prosper to what to cook for dinner, we are always making choices.

However, it is important to make the right decisions because they impact others around us. Always have the bigger picture in mind because that would be the ethical thing to do. As human beings, we must abide by these unwritten codes of moral conduct and behaviour that keeps others happy.

Therefore, we must follow these ethical standards while taking every decision in our personal and professional lives because they will directly or indirectly impact others. In this article, we will deal with the importance of ethics in decision making in our lives.

What Is Ethical Decision Making

Ethics can be better described as moral codes or principles that should shape human behaviour. However, these principles or moral codes are not written in any constitution and differ from culture to culture.

Our ethics guide us in taking the right decisions that are morally correct and do not harm people around us. There are things that we can do selfishly, thinking of our own interest. But above all, there are things that we must do in a certain way for the benefit of all.

Let us take a small example to understand ethical decision making.

Stealthily taking a project idea from a friend and claiming it as your own may get you fast results and applauses. But, it wouldn’t be an ethical task to cheat your friend intellectually. Instead, you can learn from the idea, mould it to a different form of your own, or give your friend the due credits. This is what we would call ethical decision making, which would benefit both of you.

Few Hypothetical Situations To Illustrate Ethical Decision Making

Let us think of a few hypothetical situations for you to understand ethical decision making and its importance.

Clearing your employees’ payments

Suppose you are in a lot of trouble as an employer since your payments are stuck. You can keep the existing funds to yourself during these testing times and refuse to pay your employees for an indefinite period. But, won’t it be too unfair for those who worked diligently for you?

So, what if you use a part of the current funds to pay off the employees? The savings would definitely be less, but it would help you to gain their trust and make you popular in their eyes. They wouldn’t be agitated at your dishonesty. Instead, they would agree to work with you, trusting that you wouldn’t cheat them of their wages. Using your sense of ethics in your decision making is vital in life. Earning a good reputation in the professional field makes you more prosperous and well-revered in the long run.

Construction without loss of green cover

Suppose you need to spearhead a construction project over a vast area. Constructing roads and commercial spaces leads to the loss of green cover. However, ask yourself whether your monetary profits are blinding your ethics? Won’t the task be harmful to the bigger picture?

Loss of green cover is ultimately detrimental for the planet and the people around. It severely affects the future of the people.

So how about constructing roads and building, keeping the majority of the trees intact? That keeps you connected to the planet without sacrificing the health of the future generation. It is the most significant and necessary ethical decision everyone should make.

What Are The Ways In Which We Can Make Ethical Decisions?

You do not need to do anything special to make ethical decisions in life. Whether it is your personal life or your professional world, keep your principles upright and your morals strong to always make the right decision.

Here are some ways in which you can be ethical in your personal life and the workspace.

Personal Life

  • Be honest with your partner
  • Maintain transparency about your activities without hiding things
  • Show respect to all members of the family irrespective of age
  • Behave with friends the way you would want them to behave.
  • Own up your mistakes and rectify them without hiding them behind your ego.

Professional Life

  • Behaving respectfully with your employees
  • Being fair with salaries
  • Respecting the individuality of all colleagues and employees
  • Ensuring justice in the workplace.
  • Offering good customer service


As human beings, we live not only for ourselves but also for the people around us. Ethical decisions make us better human beings at each step of life. Changing your outlook slightly and imbibing some moral codes and principles in your life makes your decisions ethical without added effort. In retrospect, you would find yourself more successful, popular, respected, and loved.

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