10 Basics of Ethical Communication
I developed the list below using principles learned in Straight Talk™ and Nonviolent Communication™ as well as “best practices” for small group work in general — with a little common sense added in. I invite you to consider these basics as ideals — ideals, in the sense that we all fall short of meeting these at some times, and yet we can continue to improve. One of the goals of belonging to an Ethical Society is to get support for learning to live more in accord with our ideals!
Ten Basics of Ethical Communication
- Seek to “elicit the best” in communications and interactions with other group members.
- Listen when others speak.
- Speak non-judgmentally.
- Speak from your own experience and perspective, expressing your own thoughts, needs, and feelings.
- Seek to understand others (rather than to be “right” or “more ethical than thou”).
- Avoid speaking for others, for example by characterizing what others have said without checking your understanding, or by universalizing your opinions, beliefs, values, and conclusions, assuming everyone shares them.
- Manage your own personal boundaries: share only what you are comfortable sharing.
- Respect the personal boundaries of others.
- Avoid interrupting and side conversations.
- Make sure that everyone has time to speak, that all members have relatively equal “air time” if they want it.