Friday, January 19, 2007

Personal Values maketh the man

Both managers and academics have often asked whether Values/Ethics can be taught. People are born with certain values, Certain Values are cultured at home, Certain Values are internal and certain Values are shaped by external environment, certain values are relative. Therefore formal discussion on values for adults is pointless.

As to the question of whether ethics/values can be taught, a frequently stated view is that these are learned from one’s parents and are fully formed in early life, so that later efforts at teaching are really pointless. The final caveat however is that modes of ethical analysis ina business context can be taught.

Personal values can be evaluated in three distinct categories (a) Mother & Son relationship - Bhakti (b) Student & teacher relationship - Yukthi & (c) Grandchild & Grandfather Relationship - Mukthi

(a) Mother and Son relationship (Bhakti)

The mother and chilld relationship is the sweetest, most trusting and least calculating relationship. Moreover most of us can relate effectively only to a personality and not any abstract concept. Can a mother knowingly giver her child stale food? Does she feel most blessed when able to feed and clothe her child well even if she herself has to go hungry and remain ill-clad? These initiate the laying of the foundation for integral power for ethico-moral motivation. The ultimate basis of healthy ethico-moral transactions and relationships at any level and any sphere lies in the depth and sweep of the unitive feeling amongst personalities involved.

(b) Student & teacher relationship – (Yukthi)

The comprehension of meaning is dependent on study, and teaching is for the preservation of that memory and for the increase of virtue. This statement can be dovetailed with the modern management process of student-teacher relationship in the leader-team members context. It is a distinct possibility that if a leader were to assume the role of a teacher on a regular basis, he/she would be spurred to internalize and project higher values more deeply and genuinely than if job were delegated to other specialists. The teaching process can provide a strong moral drive to practice what is preached, especially when the leader accepts the mentorship role. Owing to the very process of mental reflection involved in the preparation for the teaching session and the necessity of participating in the ensuing question-answer session, the subject matter is imprinted more clearly in the teachers own mind. Therefore since all behavioral is preceded by thought-change, this study cum teaching methodology can be a head start for the self-transformation process of the leader himself.

(c) Grandchild & Grandfather Relationship – (Mukthi) May need some more explaining of the concept…

Consider the following example:

The grandfather is waiting for his son to return home from work and finds that his son has been overworking himself for a long time and this has him worried. He is concerned about his sons health and well being. He takes his grandson and makes him stand in the sun with a brick on his head. When the son sees this, he questions his father how can you do this?, the father says that if this is how you feel about your son, don’t you think I too will have the same feeling about you?!.