Effective leaders create an environment that promotes a culture of accountability, trust, and respect. While many leaders around the world possess their own unique leadership style that serves them well personally, ethical leaders create a culture that is both functional and practical as a whole. The concept of ethics refers to the system of morals that govern a person’s actions. When it comes to business leadership, they are capable of completely altering the company dynamic in a positive way. To become a more ethical leader, practice engaging in the following:

Open Communication

If you are going to build your reputation on a strong set of ethics, you are also going to want to stand behind them. Identify your core principles and morals, then be prepared to communicate them with your team. Just remember to be respectful in your messaging.

Every individual at every company has a diverse set of beliefs, customs, and principles that guide their behaviors and actions. Do not allow your personal ethical values to interfere with the personal values of a team member or employee, but be clear about which standards apply specifically to your business. These should be non-negotiable.

Permit your employees to voice their opinions on the ethical standards of your company in order to identify conflicts of interest and consistently evaluate the need for ethical adjustments. Any boss or dictator can determine what takes place without considering a second opinion. However, a forum where all opinions are welcome can increase productivity and improve your capabilities as an ethical leader.

Stay Away From Bias

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a leader to conduct business according to their own agenda. This may seem acceptable if a leader knows that he or she has access to information that his or her team members do not, but it can create biases that drive a wedge between employers and employees.

The problem occurs when a leader’s internalized belief system takes precedence over the best interests of the company, thereby creating an unconscious bias that rears its head during any decision making process. Ethical leaders recognize their own biases and acknowledge their shortcomings. They work diligently to improve upon those flaws in a manner that is consistent with company values.

Hire Those Who Have Similar Beliefs

Let me preface this section by saying that when I refer to beliefs, I am specifically referring to the moral and ethical guidelines of an individual and/or company. This section is not intended to discourage inclusion or diversity.

The reality of business is that successful teams create successful companies, and successful teams often consist of cohesive team members. It is difficult to create this cohesiveness if every employee operates under a conflicting set or ethical guidelines. It is important for the vitality and longevity of your company that you hire individuals with a similar set of ethical principles in order to avoid such conflict. There can certainly be differences in opinion. In fact, they are expected. But hiring with ethics in mind should help you avoid confrontational disasters.