How to discuss doing the right thing

coaching Apr 26, 2023

The phrase "do the right thing" is often used both genuinely and indisingenuously. Here we wiil discuss what the phrase means and when it should be used.

When someone says "do the right thing," they are often trying to convey the importance of something and why someone should take action. However, what is often missing from that statement is perspective, role, scope of influence, or other aspects that are being left out. For example, what is considered "the right thing" may differ depending on who is asking and where it's being asked from.

When considering doing the right thing, it's important to be aware of the context of the question. Depending on the context, the definition of "the right thing" could change. For instance, doing the right thing from a manager's perspective may mean work-life balance or better load balancing across the team. On the other hand, doing the right thing from a customer's perspective may mean delivering a product or service that meets their expectations.

When using the phrase "do the right thing," it's essential to frame it in the context of what's in it for the other person. Using the phrase to talk about what's in it for you misses the mark of the purpose of the statement. If you use the phrase to convey the benefits to the other person and take their beliefs and understanding into account, you're using it correctly. However, if you frame the benefits in the context of your own interests, you're actually saying "do it my way" in a more flowery language.

Doing the right thing depends on the context and perspective of the situation. It's crucial to consider these factors and be aware of the person asking the question. To use the phrase correctly, it's important to frame it in the context of the other person's interests and convey all the necessary information generously.


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