Leadership, adulthood, responsibility, empathy, and consequences to one’s actions

April 23, 2014 by Joshua
in Leadership

A client asked about what he considered a moral decision.

As you know, leading others means people will follow you. You have to decide what you take responsibility for when people around you don’t have your experience or skills.

I gave the following advice, which my client said led him to reflect deeply on how he and everyone involved would feel—what I call with empathy and compassion.

I treat all adults as adults who make choices for themselves. I don’t find it healthy to take responsibility for any other adult’s choices, nor to regard any other adult’s choices as anything but theirs. I don’t know what agreement any other two people made between themselves or expectations they have. I only presume everyone makes what they consider the right decisions for themselves. We also have to make the right decisions for ourselves. I’m not aware of any book in the sky that states what’s absolutely right or wrong that everyone agrees to.

The main consideration for me is the consequences of our actions. How do you think everyone involved will feel and react to what you do? Since only you were in the situation, you have the best idea.

Thinking about consequences as opposed to blindly following rules makes you adopt other people’s perspectives and imagine their feelings.

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