How can negotiators determine and calibrate ethical behavior?
When evaluating whether negotiation strategies and tactics are ethical, begin by assessing the economic, legal, and equitable influences on the decision:
- Determine the economic outcomes of potential courses of action.
- Consider the legal requirements that bear on the situation.
- Assess the ethical obligations to other involved parties regarding what is “right and ‘just and fair”.
Once you have a thorough understanding of the economic, legal, and equitable influences, choose a course of action based upon:
- the results you expect to achieve;
- your duty to uphold appropriate rules and principles;
- the norms, values, and strategy of your organization or community; and
- your personal convictions.
The following approaches (questions) can be used to gauge whether a course of action is ethical.
- The Front-Page test – How would I feel if the course of action I am considering were reported on the front page of the local newspaper or blog?
- Reverse Golden Rule – How would you feel if the party did to you what you are thinking about doing to them; putting yourself in their shoes?
- Role modeling – Would you be proud about other people looking up to you? Would I advise others to do this?
- Third-party advice – What is the opinion of a neutral third party regarding whether the action is ethical? Do not tell them what side your on.