Two years ago, I was a Team Leader of a highly trained team working overseas in an intensely stressful environment. One uneventful day, we were receiving a brief from our superior when one of the team gently spoke up and said “we are in a position where we must not only do things right, but question if we are doing the right thing”.
I was surprised to hear this. The team member was vastly experienced, intelligent and liked by all of us. I was surprised, not by the graceful wisdom that was shared, not by the words or their meaning either as it wasn’t the first time I had come across the saying, but by my own reaction to what was said.
I had become immune to the situation that we were in. Living the problematical situation daily for months at a time, I had stopped questioning myself and the actions that we were required to conduct. Hearing these words, from a friend and colleague whom I admire and hold in high regard, woke me from my dazed ambling through the environment.
These few yet powerful words stuck with me throughout the remainder of the task and has become a personal mantra within my professional and personal life. Whenever I am unsure of how to handle a problematical situation, of which there are many, I recall that briefing. I remember it vividly and it is a memory that will remain with me throughout my life. I take a moment to question myself and those involved before moving on through the situation.
Regardless of how well trained we are, how experienced, and how well intentioned we are; sometimes you become numb to the environment surrounding you and inadvertently make suboptimal decisions or take actions that you wouldn’t usually take.
Remember to take a moment and question what you have been asked, or what you are asking others to do.
Are you doing the right thing?
Hopefully this little question, 6 words, can help you and those around you to remain ethical and do good in our world.