Tuesday, 8 September 2009

What's your ethical framework?

Last week, I was interviewed as part of a research project for a colleague / fellow researcher at London Metropolitan University. Her research topic is "Ethical Practice in HR Consultancy" and I happily volunteered to be a subject of her research, as this is a topic dear to my heart. Ethics in any business is an important enough issue and in consultancy it is absolutely vital to define boundary management, confidentiality and best practice.

One of her searching and well designed questions asked me to explain anything that I might hold as a touchstone for ethical practice. Without hesitating, I fetched a particular item from my desk and brought it into the interview space.

In explaining it to her and experiencing her interest in it, I realised that I am so used to this object and it is so much part of how we do things, that I take it for granted - it has been part of my landscape for years. I have explained it to various colleagues, clients and co-facilitators in the past - and the reaction is always one of interest and reaction at a deep level.  So, I have considered that sharing it might serve as a useful Blog topic.

So - what is this miraculous object?

It is a crystal cube, lovingly and brilliantly designed by Pat Young of Learning Edge, ( to celebrate the graduation of the only 12 Master Facilitators in the UK. I keep it on my desk, it travels with me and it is with me in any room where I am facilitating, coaching, consulting with people.

This is my touchstone.

Each face of the cube has a particular meaning and represents a facet of the underpinning facilitation practice as defined by John Heron in "The Complete Facilitator's Handbook", "Helping the Client" and other works of his particular art.

So - in my next Blog, I intend to introduce John Heron and then over the course of the next six, to disaggregate and explain my understanding and application of the 6 facets or dimensions of skilled and ethical facilitation.
At the start of this jouney, my initial questions are: 
What's your ethical framework?
What is your touchstone for "right and wrong"
What do you hold on to in the turbulent world of business?
How different would our political and business worlds be if our ethical touchstones were public and we were held accountable to them?

I am happy to share mine, and I would love to share yours too.

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