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Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Little-known Emotion that Makes Ethical Leadership Contagious

Notre Dame Cetner for Ethics
Originally posted in September 2018

Here is an excerpt:

Elevation at Work

Elevation is not limited to dramatic and dangerous situations. It can also arise in more mundane places like assembly lines, meeting rooms, and corporate offices. In fact, elevation is a powerful and often under-appreciated force that makes ethical leadership work. A 2010 study collected data from workers about their feelings toward their supervisors and found that bosses could cause their followers to experience elevation through acts of fairness and self-sacrifice. Elevation caused these workers to have positive feelings toward their bosses, and the effect spilled over into other relationships; they were kinder and more helpful toward their coworkers and more committed to their organization as a whole.

These findings suggest that elevation is a valuable emotion for leaders to understand. It can give ethical leadership traction by helping a leader's values and behaviors take root in his or her followers. One study puts it this way: "Elevation puts moral values into action."

Put it in Practice

The best way to harness elevation in your organization is by changing the way you communicate about ethics. Keep these guidelines in mind.

Find exemplars who elevate you and others.

Most companies have codes of values. But true moral inspiration comes from people, not from abstract principles. Although we need rules, guidelines, regulations, and laws, we are only inspired by the people who embody them and live them out. For each of your organization's values, make sure you can identify a person who exemplifies it in his or her life and work.

The info is here.