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Most Important Qualities of Character

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mgm2715
Words 1024
Pages 5
The six pillars of character are important traits which everyone should exhibit. For this week’s assignment I have chosen the most important pillars which would be a necessity for any member of the ABC Department of governmental services. As a federal watch dog agency the department is tasked and responsible for ensuring the highest efficiency within other governmental agencies. In addition the department serves as a liaison between citizens and complaints against governmental agencies. The responsibilities entailed in a job of this nature are endless; as are the risks of compromise of professional conduct. This is due to the magnitude of various agency projects under scrutiny.

I strongly believe all six pillars of character play an important role in both the application and hiring process of all potential recruits. Once hired and under department training the three most important qualities are Trustworthiness, Responsibility and Respect. It is important to place the most emphasis on these three pillars because if an error occurs on the job under any of these three pillars the effect it could have on the agency could be detrimental. The social contract theory implies laws for the common good which one must obey whether one wants to or not (Brown 1996). In browns work and interpretations of Hume under social contract; it becomes clear that despite what one feels in the natural choice there are times when people must abide by the moral expectation of society. For the ABC Department of governmental services this means that the members of the agency must interpret their job expectation and make ethical decisions for the good of the government and for the people.

Trustworthiness is the most important of all pillars; a trustworthy individual is one who can always be counted upon to meet expectations without participating in self-profiting behavior. The definition of trustworthy interacts on many different levels with the expectations set within the watchdog agency as well as the personal traits required of an individual working for it. A trustworthy person is often associated with honesty. For the ABC agency this means that a recruit must not only understand how to be honest but for the agency to succeed the employee must be able to convey honesty. Conveying honesty in the workplace can often times mean being able to clearly communicate information without skewing it or misrepresenting it. If an employee is not being honest in regards to the information they collect they could greatly affect the integrity and trustworthiness of the agency they are working with.

Even though lying is unethical, it is not always the case. As a member of ABC agency individuals need special training on when it is appropriate to lie and the nature of what is acceptable for misleading information. In the case of investigating an agency it may sometimes be necessary to not fully disclose what information is being sought up front. This does not compromise the trustworthiness of an employee if it is being done to adequately investigate a concern and serve justice for all involved. I personally have been in this situation when investigating a case of insurance fraud. The customer at the time has allegedly made fake receipts which were being used to file a claim. While investigating I had to lie to make excuses for the delay in the investigation. This was because I was not able to fully disclose that there was scrutiny on the claim. Early in the process I did not want to alarm the customer and I also did not want to provide early warning of the stakes of our investigation. The balancing question is what

if any direct harm can actions have against both yourself and others. Integrity and loyalty also come into the high importance of the ABC agency as without these two characteristics of trustworthiness the agency would not have any credibility.

The second most important quality is responsibility; ABC agencies purpose as a governmental watchdog of multiple agencies requires great responsibility. The importance of responsibility is to ensure that ABC not only responds and investigates all credible risks but also takes accountability to uphold justice within other agencies for the good of society. Part of being responsible also means to recognize the consequences of making a mistake and taking accountability when one is made. A mistake by a member of the ABC could result in significant political and social disruption in any governmental agency and will not be tolerated lightly. For that reason it is important to recognize the risks associated with responsibility and exercise self restraint when needed. Responsibility is a key quality to constantly focus and improve upon.

The third and final quality of importance is respect, everyone deserves dignity. Even those who exercise poor judgment and responsibility sometimes do so without devious intentions. Respect is necessary not only out of character but a requirement for all ABC agency employees. Through adequate respect an employee will be able to interact on a much more professional level with others. Respect is imperative when working with agencies which a member of the ABC may be unfamiliar with. It is important not to form any prejudice or judgment early on; instead a solid relationship centered on respect should be built. This will

ensure that further investigations can be focused solely on the conduct of an individual or agency and not the relationship between ABC and that respective employee or agency.

All pillars of character are important qualities. When it comes to training prospective candidates it is important to focus on every day qualities which will need the most attention due to the ethical situations faced on the job. Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness all build upon one another and together create a strong lasting impact on anyone in a professional line of work that is responsible for the investigation and assistance of others. I personally use these qualities each and every day as an insurance adjuster and have become more influenced by them through this assignment.


Brown, M. (1996). The Quest for Moral Foundations. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown Press.

Josephson, M. (2002) Making Ethical Decisions p. 7, Los Angeles, CA. Josephson Institute of Ethics

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