What are the ethics of L&D?

As our news headlines trumpet questions about ethics in workplace behavior and government, it sparks reflection on our own industry. What are our responsibilities? What behaviors should we practice, or avoid?

There are several stakeholders we have to keep in mind. First, there are our learners. They are in our hands and we need to do right by them. At an equal level are our organizations; they employ us to do the right things. We also have our colleagues, with whom we learn together, both inside and outside the organization. Finally, we have responsibilities to ourselves.

Here’re some thoughts on each. I ask you to think through your own ideas first, then compare. I’ve avoided things not specific to our field, assuming you recognize we should not engage in nor promote beliefs like bullying, harassment, racism, or sexism. Here I talk about the practices that are specific to what we do, even if they might reflect the professionalism we’d expect in any field.

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