This is a discussion blog – I have some opinion, but don’t know for sure. And yes, this is inspired by the ethical situations we were presented with by Prof Murnighan at Kellogg.
Here’s the dilemma I have – should you help people who don’t help themselves ?
Situation 1 – This is a colleague of yours who never puts together a presentation without errors and inspite of being told several times, feedback given, formally and informally, does not check his numbers. He has a big presentation coming up with the CEO – will you help to set right his numbers ?
Situation 2 – In school, you all were supposed to come prepared for class with the pre read material, one of the students never prepares for any class, do you help when the teacher asks him/her a question ? He/she is otherwise really nice in all other interactions with you.
Situation 3 – Your manager takes your ideas and presents it as his/her’s and never acknowledges your contribution… Doesn’t have an idea of his/her own. Except for this one habit, the manager is ok on other aspects. He/She is attending a leadership meeting where each person has to present 5 ideas – will you help this manager ? If your promotion is at stake and if its not 🙂
Here are my responses – in Situation 1, I will help correct the numbers as he is going up to present to the CEO, provided he is good in all other aspects and acknowledges his inability to correct numbers. I would not help if he is arrogant and full of himself. In Situation 2 and 3 – I wouldn’t like to help. I think I will help in a team situation but would not like the freeloaders and may not go out of my way to support them. But in an one to one situation, where the consequences are just to me, I will not help. I think that’s the way I process these.
What do some of you think your responses would be and why ?