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Communication and Collaborating Strategies - Professional Values and Ethics

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Professional Values and Ethics

Professional values and ethics are standards of conduct designed by professional groups. Professional ethics are used to describe the characteristics and behaviors that employees must possess. It is very important that employees follow the guidelines because they can affect the success of the company directly. Communicating professionally, possessing a positive attitude about the job, and maintaining responsibility are factors of professional values and ethics and the foundation that affect career success.

"Values refer to moral principles or other judgements of worth. Values are regarded as deep or intense commitments embedded in taken-for-granted dispositions and can be contrasted with attitudes, which are thought of as more superficial and weakly held views and opinions" (Cambridge, 2006, para. 1). "Values are the criteria individuals or groups use to define and rank practically anything as relatively good or bad. They may thus refer to interests, preferences, likes and dislikes, desires, duties and/ or moral obligations" (Gale, 2001, para. 1).

Ethics are the "Branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong. The term is also applied to theory of moral values or principles" (Britannica Concise, 2006, para. 1). Ethics are also "The standards characteristics of an activity or profession, whether or not those standards reflect and acceptable morality in those who obey them" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, para. 1). "Ethics is concerned with distinguishing between good and evil in the world, between right and wrong human actions, and between virtuous and nonvirtuous characteristics of people" (The Houghton Mifflin, 2003, para. 1).

Sources of professional values and ethics include integrity, confidentiality, responsibility, and respect. These sources as well as others are under an organization's code of ethics, core value statements, and vision statements. Integrity defined as entirety; honorableness; truthfulness or accuracy of moral principle and character. For example, the Milwaukee County Law Enforcement code of conduct (n.d.) states, "Police officers are not to engage in acts of corruption or bribery, and they shall not condone such acts by other officers." Confidentiality defined in regard to information that is secret, not for publication, not for disclosure or exposure to anyone outside of an organization. For instance, Article Five of the Military Code of Conduct (2009) states, members of the military who become prisoners of war (POW), are to give no more than their name, rank, service number, and date of birth. They are to avoid responding to any other inquiries.

Responsibility is one's obligation to execute pleasingly a mission, which has a resulting penalty for failure. Teachers have to practice professional responsibility by providing effective leadership to ensure continual focus on student achievements, and upholding the principle of academic freedom (Connecticut State Department of Education, n.d.). Respect defined in regard to showing admiration, appreciation, consideration and courtesy to others, including coworkers. When working with others it is highly important to treat each other with respect. Displaying politeness, encouraging coworkers to express their opinions and ideas, and expressing courtesy by listening to what they have to say are all examples of respect in the workplace. For one to adhere to the professional standards of ethics and values set forth in their place of employment is important; not only for the successful production of the company but also to influence one's chances for career success.

Professional values and ethics can influence career success in most cases because often employers are looking for professionals with honesty, dependable, hardworking and possess values in line with the company's success and growth. Companies also desire personnel who can make good decision and the right choices.

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