The legal industry can be a mixture of things both good and not so good. People tend to focus on the things that drive them, whether it’s the bottom line of fee income or having to make what some people may see as ruthless decisions for the success of the business. However, I also see firms who consider people as their biggest asset whether that is their staff, suppliers or their clients.

There are firms and individuals who lead by example and despite having to look at the above, deal with making decisions in an ethical way keeping their integrity in tack. Those individuals are the ones who look at the business but also further at the individuals behind the business. There are occasions where decisions makers of the firm and managers/supervisors must deliver what can be difficult news to individuals. It is often the case that is not the news that can leave individuals disappointed or upset, but the way that news was delivered to them

Throughout my career I have always tried to put myself in the shoes of the person that I may be delivering that type of news too.  Equally when I am delivering good news, I think of how that person may be feeling. I appreciate that is not always possible and I am by no means the person who knows how to deliver everything!

With the technology we have around us, I do think that we use it as a barrier to avoid some of these difficult conversations. It not only can make the other person feel worse than if you had a verbal and where possible face to face meeting, but how does it make you feel. Personally, I would feel that I had let that person down by not supporting them or putting the conversation in context.

Emails, instant messages can come across in the way that we don’t want them to and where people have used them to “save time” is counterproductive, as you then must deal with the fall out from not dealing with it. Worse still, I have seen individuals delegate the task to someone else who is clearly not equipped to deal with such situations.

Individuals who have strong integrity will deal with any given situation in the best way they know how. They may not always get it right, but you know they tried and they thought about what they are doing beforehand.

We all hold the key to our ethics and integrity – have you revisited yours to make sure the key is used in the best way?

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