Are you training your new conscience?

The first week of serious coronavirus measures lies behind us. There are stories everywhere about how some are violating the rules. Complicated. So many discussions, so much hassle. I’d like to reflect here on what’s happened over the past week.

There is a large overlap between what’s happening at macro level with my everyday work as learning specialist at TinQwise! We’re all working really hard to come up with new standards that act as a compass for how to behave in this new situation. And that’s exactly what we do for companies with EthiQs, the TinQwise integrity service.

We discuss the rules, we make ourselves and each other aware of our feelings of resistance and we address this. We bring the rules to life and work towards a collective conscience. And we make sure that our conscience stays fit and healthy.

Corona crisis? Integrity rules! Read how this works below:

Patricia Handels
Patricia Handels Learning Specialist / Business Developer

A new reality

We find ourselves in a new reality. From empty supermarket shelves to doing work and schoolwork online at home. From no longer playing sports to playing keepy uppy with that extra toilet roll we didn’t need to buy. From social distancing to being overwhelmed by coronavirus jokes on ‘social’ media. And in the meantime, care homes are closed for visitors. We’re trying to behave as normally as possible but at the same time, everything has changed.

New rules

This new reality demands new rules. Press conferences tell us which measures are being taken and which new rules apply; rules that are vital for everyone’s safety. But from experience, I know it’s not enough to simply know what the new rules are. And we can already clearly see this happening around us: people simply aren’t really complying with the rules. We need to do more:

#1: Bring the rules to life

The government is springing into action. Mark Rutte visits a supermarket and talks with employees about how to ensure better compliance with the rules. Following recommendations from municipalities, lines have been drawn out at markets to show where you should wait in line. And on Eén vandaag (TV programme) they use a tape measure to show what 1.5 metres between people actually looks like. Jeugdjournaal (news programme for youth) shows a family singing happy birthday from a distance for grandma’s birthday.

This is exactly what we do with EthiQs. Bringing rules to life with real stories and from different perspectives, and showing people setting a good example. Because group influence is huge.  

#1: Bring the rules to life

#2: Give space to resistance

Our southern neighbours don’t want to give up their weekend fun and are flocking in large numbers to pubs and shops in Maastricht. My son says: ‘Sorry mum, I want to see my friends. It’s the weekend!’ Of course, I talk to him about this. I make sure he’s aware of what he’s saying and ask him to explain his reasoning for this. But mostly, I’m understanding. This is entirely in accordance with our integrity rule: if you allow resistance, you can address it.

#2: Give space to resistance

#3: Create a common compass

The Prime Minister addresses the nation to really stress the importance of this issue. He explains and informs. He motivates us to work towards a common goal: delaying the spread of the virus. He appeals to us: ‘I’m counting on you.’ Rutte is using EthiQs rule 3: Show how this situation affects others and stimulate mutual dialogue. The goal will then be the same for each and every one of us. Complying with the rules then becomes a shared ambition and you’re guided by your common compass.

#3: Create a common compass

#4: Develop your conscience

I’m curious as to whether we’ll succeed in preventing a lockdown. Will we put off that visit or that beach walk with friends to save other people’s lives? An ethical dilemma. It demands that we cultivate a healthy conscience. We need to recognise that what is being imposed on us here and now is the most important thing. And it also requires us to demonstrate empathy and flexibility. We need to really work hard on this if we are to prevent the Italian situation.  

#4: Develop your conscience

#5: Keep your conscience fit and active

How will this play out? Will people stick to the rules? It doesn’t look like it. The Prime Minister will have to remind Dutch citizens several times. At least, that’s what we’re doing with our customers. And I’m doing that at home. Because new behaviour doesn’t just happen by itself. Certainly not among adolescents. So we need to repeat, repeat, repeat. And I know from experience that it works!

#5: Keep your conscience fit and active

Like to know more?

Patricia uses EthiQs to train the company conscience of businesses. Find out more about EthiQs.

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