Personal and interpersonal communication is an essential element in modern day society since it allows propagation of information between people with minimal ambiguities. Most communication skills are developed and enhanced through practice and knowledge through direct and indirect methods. With time, communication has evolved to involve ethics in the choice of wording, message, and how delivery of information is made. Success of interpersonal communication is therefore not only about successful sending and reception of messages understandably, but also involving ethical considerations while formulating the kind of message being propagated. In other words, communication takes a dimension where messages are formulated using personal values and moral guides.
Ethical interpersonal communication is composed of three major elements that guide determination of what is right or wrong. Though the choice is obvious, not many people make the right one; hence, creating unintended consequences in the process. Therefore, ethical interpersonal communication involves consideration of moral obligations so that the information propagated has positive influence on its recipients. Since determining what is right or wrong is difficult, it is important for communicators not to make assumptions in terms of how other people will understand or perceive the rightness of the message (Trenholm and Jensen 122).
In addition, the fundamental definition of ethical communication requires informed consideration of diversified values that exist amidst other people. Every interaction is comprised of different situational factors hence the need for uphold and protect acceptable moral principles through individual actions. This leads to the other consideration that integration of ethics is supposed to instill the need to understand how communication works and its influence on other people. Just like an artist, interpersonal communications is a skill that has to be learned and practiced through relentless efforts so as to send clear messages, develop appropriate responses to social rules, and produce satisfactory interactions.
It is not surprising to find out that every workplace is filled with ethical dilemmas and workers are supposed to make decisions that conform to particular moral principles regardless of their consequences. The essence of ethics is to determine what is right and wrong; then, make an informed judgment that does not violate acceptable rules, morals, and organizational culture. An instance where ethical decision had to be made has occurred as a personal experience that is discussed in this paper. This experience is among the most common ethical cases occurring in organizations yet many people are getting themselves in such situations due to its perceived outcomes.
What happened is that a friend of mine works in a company where when they are involved in fieldwork, they have the authority to bill the company every expense used as long as it was incurred when representing the business. We held a friendly meeting with this person but insisted on passing the expense to the company despite the fact that no business representation was made at the time. This occurred as employee theft where documentation is falsified to benefit few individuals under the justification of having conducted business. This was an ethical dilemma that had to be approached with diligence and the decision communicated without causing unintended misunderstanding.
Accepting the idea to pass the bill to the company could have saved everyone of use from paying using personal money. On the other hand, rejecting the offer meant making a payment and at the same time risking appearing bad to my friend. The perspective of my friend was that he was doing me a favor, treating an acquaintance, and showing off that his employer has sufficient funds to cater for all expenditure without minding how it was incurred as long as it is recorded as business cost. Though it seemed right to this person, it was not ethical and the appropriate decision had to be made to alleviate occurrence of misappropriation of company funds.
The lesson learnt from this situation is that people tend to seek methods of propagating malicious intentions to their beneficiaries without thinking of subsequent ethical implications. Being offered to spend company funds though I am not its employee was a very good offer that many people could have taken without thinking twice. However, it took an effort to consider ethical provisions of right and wrong to diffuse this dilemma and communicate the decision clearly without harming the kind of relationship with a friend.
Another lesson is about the necessity of considering acceptable norms before making objective decisions, as well as the essence of accumulating ethical communication skills. Deontology and consequentialism frameworks played a major role in the decision to turn down the offer and make payment in whole using personal funds. It was wrong to accept and if discovered, it could have made my friend to lose his job, of which, was not worthy considering amount of one hundred dollars. Passing this decision further required articulation on the kind of phrasing so that it could not be taken as an offense.
Though this ethical experience played out without an incidence of misunderstanding or seeming offensive, there are various aspects that need improvement. In light of what has been learned, it is important to consider situational conditions leading to consideration of engaging in ethical violations before making any judgment. This was not done beforehand and it is important to do it another time a similar incidence occurs. On the other hand, the method of communication would be done differently; whereby, I could have begun by subtly explaining to my friend on the importance of not using company resources for personal gains then rejecting the offer.