Veracity, non-malificence, benficence, confidentiality, and fairness: five words to live and work by
Throughout my career, I have worked hard to ensure that everything that I do is to the best of my ability and shows my professionalism. Paramount to ensuring this is learning new skills, exploring new ways of working, and revising ongoing skills and tools to complete my work.
This morning, I’ve been looking at professional ethics, particularly concerning my work as a communications professional.
As Richard Bailey, says
Ethics is allied to professionalism. So if you profess to act ethically, then as a very first step you should be able to demonstrate your commitment to professional standards.Richard Bailey, PR Academy, Briefing: Professional Ethics, 2022-04-04, https://pracademy.co.uk/insights/briefing-professional-ethics/ accessed 2022-01-03
My first step is to have signed up to professional standards. I have signed up to the Code of Conduct of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, of which I am a Member and Accredited PR Practitioner, also to the Institute of Internal Communication’s Code of Conduct as a Certified Member. I have membership in several professional bodies, and I work hard to ensure that all of my work meets their professional standards.
I can recall a few times when I have been asked in employment to do something which I found ethically questionable. Each time, I explained to my manager why I could not do what I was being asked to do. On more than one occasion, there was a look of incomprehension that I refused to do what was wanted. But, having heard that it was about professional ethics, and after I had explained why I could not do what it was, it was decided that it was not a good move.
Within the Public Relations industry, Patricia Parsons states that there are five pillars:
- Veracity (telling the truth)
- Non-malificence (doing no harm)
- Beneficence (doing good)
- Confidentiality (respecting privacy)
- Fairness (being fair and responsible)
They are very good pillars for any role, and they equally work within the Internal Communication sphere of communications. I shall continue to endeavour to hold myself to these qualities in my work. I urge others to do likewise.