17th July 2017
What is ethical maturity?
I have been thinking about this recently – with some concern even over the phrase. Ethics evolved from traditions in moral philosophy which go back thousands of years. Carroll and Shaw’s book makes clear the challenges we all face in making decisions, from our processes, connections between decisions and the practical implementations, impact on stakeholders (both people and more broadly such as the environment) and our own stage of development. There may be Codes of Ethics from professional bodies, but these cannot possibly do more than provide a helpful guide on best practice. There are infinite situations in which our ethics are being exercised daily and there can be no “rulebook,” except in a few situations (like not giving misleading information). In the end, if we want to be ethically mature, considering issues around morality and ethics and our own values, the key seems to be to continue to develop our ability to be aware of our own views and how they carry through into our decision making.
Carroll, M. and Shaw, E. (2013) Ethical Maturity in the Helping Professions. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
ICF Code of Ethics
Global Code of Ethics (AC and EMCC)