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Ethics / Values / Morals - Which is which?

March 5, 2022

As part of a coaching certification programme that I am on we were discussing the difference between Ethics, Values and Morals. You may think that they are the same or that there isn't much difference between the three aspects.


  • Morals are rules set by culture/society, they have most likely have not been set you, however, they are personal to you and externally visible  
  • Values are internal to you.  
  • Ethics are externally visible and "Professional" behaviours

If you want to consider if you are behaving ethically or unethically consider the following questions to help you make that decision. To answer the question - "Am I acting ethically / unethically?" consider the questions below

Questions to use to view the situation through

  1. What if any, are the issues of confidentiality that may not be honoured here?
  2. What if any, are the conflicts of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest?
  3. If I do, or don't do something what is the impact on my profession?

For me, it is question 3 that really brings the point home. If I do, or do not do something what is the impact on my profession. If I bring my profession into disrepute it would be ethically wrong for me to do - regardless of my morals or values. 

I thought it was useful to share this as it has helped me a lot since finding this out to appreciate why I'm reacting to situations. If you want to find out more about me - Please feel free to link in! 



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