True Education Only Happens When Learning is Linked to People’s Experience

Corrupt v Honest

Create a positive environment by knowing what path to go down.

I learned this as a teacher, because the more the information is carefully organized, researched and creatively presented to link up to the students’ experience, the more they will remember. The more they remember and the more reinforcement they receive, the better chance that behavior will follow. Isn’t this true of your “best teachers” in school?

They created a positive environment, set the tone, stated the expectations, consistently reinforced them by relating the information to our life experience. This made the material become “real” to us and expected behavior change. In my experience, we, as students by-in-large, gladly responded positively.

Now is the time to think about how effective is your ethics training in regards to it being linked to peoples’ experience and plan to make some significant changes.

I would bet that most of your training dollars are spent compliance training, and maybe rightly so, but what about ethics training? How many training dollars are allocated for this and is ethics training seen as an expense or as an investment?

Isn’t it feasible that if you can stop something from becoming an ethical issue, nine times out of ten, you can stop it from becoming a compliance issue? If this is true, then where is it going to “cost” you more? It will really cost you if it becomes a compliance issue and lawyers have to take over.

Like your “best teacher,” one needs to be proactive in approaching how people learn, how they are trained and in keeping the learning environment positive, focused, respectful, practical, and relatable with tangible outcomes. Likewise the same process needs to be applied to ethics training, to decrease the odds of something seriously happening.

If your title contains both words “compliance and ethics ”, thenit seems fair to ask:

1. Do you have an integrated ethics training program that compliments your compliance training? If not, why not, as it’s in your job title.

2. How much of a priority is ethics training?

3. Does being qualified, educated, and trained in compliance, automatically make one equally knowledgeable to train in ethics?

4. What is your organization’s investment, i.e. time, money, resources, in ongoing ethics training initiatives for all employees?

5. How do your training programs, much less the subject of ethics, help your people “ link up” to  their experience?

6. There are tangible results from compliance training, i.e. obey the law or no, fines, punishments, etc. What are the tangible results from your ethics training?

I pose this discussion to help all of us more clearly clarify, justify and maybe rectify, our ethics initiatives. As with any other life issue, you find an expert and equally important, are willing to pay for the expertise. If you’re sick, you find a doctor, if you need help with finances, you find a CPA, if there is a psychological issue, you find a counselor, if there is a legal issue, you find a lawyer, and  if you want to try to avoid or deal with an ethics issue you find a ???????

About the Author

Frank Bucaro

Frank-BucaroFrank Bucaro is an ethics expert, who is a leading crusader-- speaking, training and writing-- on the benefits of ethics. He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and has been inducted into the Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE) Speaker Hall of Fame.

Coming from a background in teaching, with a Master’s degree in Religious Studies, Frank’s career in business spans two decades with the message: not only is good ethics good business, it is also good for business. As an author of numerous articles on ethics and author of the book Trust Me! Insights into Ethical Leadership, Frank has developed unique and humorous insights into the challenges of taking the high road. He provides practical ideas to help with difficult decisions as well as strategies for combating the sometimes blurred lines between right and wrong.

A member of the National Speakers Association, he has earned the designation of CSP which stands for Certified Speaking Professional. This award has been earned by less than 20% of the 3800 members of NSA. He was also presented with NSA’s prestigious CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame Award for excellence and professionalism, an award currently held by fewer than 200 people worldwide.

He is President of Frank C. Bucaro & Associates, Inc. located in Bartlett, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

A few of the organizations that have invited Frank to speak include BP, the Canadian Pacific Railway, Caterpillar, ENMAX Energy, Fiserv Insurance Solutions, Global Compliance, the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, Merck, Talecris Biotherapeutics and RE/MAX International.

You can reach Frank at 1-800-784-4476 or through his website Follow Frank on his blog, Ethics Shmethics, and on Twitter at @FrankCBucaro.

Frank is a monthly columnist for CCI. For a complete list of his articles, follow this link.