Professional ethics and Etiquette essay


The problems of morality have long worried humanity. The roots of interest in morality go down in history. This is indicated, for example, by the treatise of the ancient Roman physician, “Hygiene of passions, or moral hygiene”; studies of the economist A. Smith on the theory of moral feelings, an account of the foundations of morality, written by the Russian physiologist I.I. Mechnikov “Studies on the nature of man.” “The solution to the problem of human life must inevitably lead to a more accurate definition of the foundations of morality. The latter should not have immediate pleasure, but the completion of the normal cycle of existence. In order to achieve this result, people should help each other much more than they are doing it now. ” [1] – wrote Mechnikov. The essence of morality, as a real social phenomenon, the existence of which is associated with the first effort of people to live and act together, first spontaneously, and then deliberately united, is that it is a vital condition for the survival of people, the regulation of their social lifestyle. Such an alternative gave rise to a number of theoretical justifications, according to which a moral person is strictly adapted to environmental conditions (English philosopher Spencer), and nature can be called the first teacher of a moral principle for a person (P.A. Kropotkin). G. Selye, the author of the generally accepted theory of stress, believes that what is biologically useful is moral, and therefore moral standards should be based on biological laws, on the laws of human self-preservation.

Morality is a social phenomenon.

It consists of two levels: attitude and consciousness. Effective leadership is unthinkable without the knowledge of the leader of a social science such as ethics. I. Kant said that ethics is a springboard that allows people to rise above themselves, free themselves from selfish inclinations, and see in other personalities also a personality. Material philosopher P. Golbach summarized that ethics is the science of the relationships that exist between people, and of the obligations arising from these relationships.

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Ethics is an ancient science. It arose as an integral part of philosophy during the formation of a slave-owning society. The term “ethics” was introduced by one of its founders, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. In his opinion, ethics helps to know what to do and what to refrain from [2].

The object of study of ethics: moral phenomena in the most diverse forms of their existence. Distinguish between theoretical ethics and normative ethics. The first deals with the study of the origin and essence of morality, ascertaining its place in the system of social relations, substantiating the form and structure of moral consciousness. Second: its subject has everything that allows us to answer the question: what should a person do based on the principles and norms of morality. Both directions are a branch of scientific knowledge, the subject of which is the doctrine of morality, the laws of its development, economic, social and psychological mechanisms of its functioning.

1. Where etiquette originated

England and France are usually called: “classical countries of etiquette.” However, they cannot be called the birthplace of etiquette. Rudeness of manners, ignorance, worship of brute force, etc. in the 15th century they dominate in both countries. One can not speak about Germany and other countries of the then Europe at all, Italy alone at that time is an exception.

The refinement of the morals of Italian society begins as early as the fourteenth century. Man passed from feudal morals to the spirit of the new time, and this transition began in Italy earlier than in other countries. If we compare Italy of the 15th century with other peoples of Europe, it immediately catches the eye a higher degree of education, wealth, ability to decorate your life. And at the same time, England, having finished one war, was drawn into another, remaining until the middle of the 16th century a country of barbarians. In Germany, a fierce and implacable war of the Hussites raged, the nobility was ignorant, fist law prevailed, the resolution of all disputes by force. France was enslaved and devastated by the British, the French did not recognize any merit except the military, they not only did not respect science, but even disdained them and considered all scientists to be the most insignificant of people. While the rest of Europe was drowning in civil strife, and the feudal system was still in full force, Italy was a country of a new culture. This country deserves the right to be called the birthplace of etiquette.

2. The concept of etiquette

The prevailing norms of morality are the result of a long-term process of establishing relationships between people. Without observance of these norms political, economic, cultural relations are impossible, because it is impossible to exist without respecting each other, without imposing certain restrictions on yourself.

Etiquette is a word of French origin, meaning a manner of behavior. It includes the rules of courtesy and courtesy, adopted in society.

Modern etiquette inherits the customs of almost all peoples from antiquity to the present day. Basically, these rules of behavior are universal, since they are observed not only by representatives of a given society, but also by representatives of various social and political systems that exist in the modern world.

The peoples of each country make their corrections and additions to etiquette, due to the social structure of the country, the specifics of its historical structure, national traditions and customs.

There are several types of etiquette, the main of which are:

– court etiquette – a strictly regulated procedure and forms of circumvention established at the courts of monarchs;

– diplomatic etiquette – rules of conduct for diplomats and other officials in contact with each other at various diplomatic receptions, visits, negotiations;

– military etiquette – a set of generally accepted in the army rules, norms and manners of behavior of servicemen in all spheres of their activity;

– general etiquette – a set of rules, traditions and conventions that are observed by citizens when communicating with each other.

Most of the rules of diplomatic, military and civil etiquette in one way or another coincide. The difference between them is that diplomats attach greater importance to the observance of etiquette, since deviation from them or violation of these rules can damage the country’s prestige or its official representatives and lead to complications in relations between states.

As the living conditions of mankind change, education and culture grow, some rules of behavior are replaced by others. What used to be considered indecent becomes generally accepted, and vice versa. But the requirements of etiquette are not absolute: their observance depends on the place, time and circumstances. Behavior unacceptable in one place and under certain circumstances may be appropriate in another place and under other circumstances.

Norms of etiquette, in contrast to moral standards, are conditional, they are in the nature of an unwritten agreement on what is generally accepted and what is not in human behavior. Each cultural person should not only know and observe the basic norms of etiquette, but also understand the need for certain rules and relationships. Manners largely reflect the inner culture of man, his moral and intellectual qualities.

The ability to behave properly in society is very important: it facilitates the establishment of contacts, helps to achieve mutual understanding, creates good, stable relationships.

It should be noted that a tactful and well-mannered person behaves in accordance with the rules of etiquette not only at official ceremonies, but also at home. True courtesy, which is based on benevolence, is determined by an act, a sense of proportion, suggesting what is possible and what cannot be done under certain circumstances. Such a person will never violate public order, neither by word nor deed will he offend another, nor offend his dignity. Unfortunately, there are people with a double standard of behavior: one is in public, the other is at home. At work, with friends and acquaintances, they are polite, helpful, and at home, with relatives they do not stand on ceremony, rude and tactful. This indicates a low culture of man and poor education.

Modern etiquette regulates the behavior of people in everyday life, in the service, in public places and on the street, at a party and at various kinds of official events – receptions, ceremonies, negotiations.

So, etiquette is a very large and important part of universal culture, moral morality, developed over many centuries by all peoples in accordance with their ideas about good, justice, humanity – in the field of moral culture and beauty, order, beautification, household expediency – in the field of material culture.

3. Good manners

One of the basic principles of modern life is the maintenance of normal relations between people and the desire to avoid conflicts. In turn, respect and attention can be earned only with respect for politeness and restraint. Therefore, nothing is valued by the people around us as dearly as politeness and delicacy. But in life we ​​often have to deal with rudeness, harshness, disrespect for the personality of another person. The reason here is that we underestimate the culture of human behavior, its manners.

Manners are a way to keep oneself, an external form of behavior, treatment of other people, expressions used in speech, tone, intonation, a person’s gait, gestures and even facial expressions.

In society, modesty and restraint of a person, the ability to control their actions, and carefully and tactfully communicate with other people are considered good manners. It’s customary to consider bad manners the habit of speaking loudly, without embarrassment in expressions, swagger in gestures and behavior, sloppiness in clothes, rudeness, manifested in open hostility to others, in disregard for other people’s interests and requests, in shamelessly imposing their will and desires on others, in the inability to restrain his irritation, in a deliberate insult to the dignity of those around him, in tactlessness, foul language, and the use of derogatory nicknames.

Manners relate to the culture of human behavior and are regulated by etiquette. Etiquette implies a benevolent and respectful attitude to all people, regardless of their position and social position. It includes courteous treatment of a woman, respect for elders, forms of treatment for elders, forms of treatment and greetings, rules of conversation, behavior at the table. In general, etiquette in a civilized society coincides with the general requirements of politeness, which are based on the principles of humanism.

A prerequisite for communication is delicacy. Delicacy should not be excessive, turn into flattering, lead to no undue praise of what he saw or heard. Do not strenuously hide that you are seeing something for the first time, listening, tasting it, fearing that otherwise you will be considered an ignoramus.

4. Courtesy

Everyone knows the expressions: “cold politeness”, “icy politeness”, “contemptuous politeness”, in which epithets, added to this beautiful human quality, not only kill his essence, but turn it into its opposite.

Emerson defines politeness as “the sum of small sacrifices” that we make to the people around us, with whom we enter into one or another life relationship.

Unfortunately, Cervantes’s wonderful statement has completely been erased: “Nothing is so cheap and not as expensive as politeness.” True courtesy can only be benevolent, since it is one of the manifestations of sincere, disinterested benevolence towards all other people with whom a person has to meet at work, in the house where he lives, in public places. With workmates, with many acquaintances in everyday life, politeness can become friends, but organic benevolence for people in general is an obligatory basis of politeness. A genuine culture of behavior is where the actions of a person in all situations, their content and external manifestation follow from the moral principles of morality and correspond to them.

One of the main elements of politeness is the ability to remember names. Here is how D. Carnegie speaks of this: “Most people don’t remember names for the reason that they don’t want to spend time and energy focusing, hardening, indelibly imprinting these names in their memory. They are looking for excuses for themselves they’re too busy, however, they’re hardly more busy than Franklin Roosevelt, and he took the time to remember and, on occasion, recall the names of the mechanics with whom he had to come into contact … F. Roosevelt knew that one of the simplest, most intelligible and most actionable GOVERNMENTAL way to win the favor of others – is to remember their names, and inspire them with the consciousness of self-importance. ”

5. Tact and sensitivity

The content of these two noble human qualities, attention, deep respect for the inner world of those with whom we communicate, the desire and ability to understand them, to feel that they can give them pleasure, joy or vice versa, cause them irritation, frustration, resentment. Tact, sensitivity is also a sense of proportion, which should be observed in conversation, in personal and official relations, the ability to feel the line beyond which, as a result of our words and actions, a person has an undeserved resentment, grief, and sometimes pain. A tactful person always takes into account specific circumstances: the difference in age, gender, social status, place of conversation, the presence or absence of strangers.

Respect for others is a prerequisite for tact even between good friends. You probably had to deal with a situation where at a meeting someone casually throws “rubbish”, “bullshit”, etc. during the speeches of his comrades. Such behavior often becomes the reason that when he himself begins to speak out, even his sound judgments are met with chill by the audience. They say of such people: “Nature has given him so much respect for people that he only has enough for himself.” Self-esteem without respect for others inevitably degenerates into conceit, arrogance, arrogance.

A culture of behavior is equally obligatory on the part of the lower in relation to the higher. It is expressed primarily in an honest attitude to one’s duties, in strict discipline, as well as in respect, politeness, tact in relation to the leader. The same is true for colleagues. Requiring respect for yourself, ask yourself more often the question: do you answer them the same way.

Tact, sensitivity also mean the ability to quickly and accurately determine the reaction of interlocutors to our statement, actions and, if necessary, self-critical, without a sense of false shame, to apologize for the mistake made. This will not only not reduce dignity, but, on the contrary, will strengthen it in the opinion of thinking people, showing them your extremely valuable human trait – modesty.

6. Modesty

“A man who talks only about himself, only thinks about himself,” says D. Carnegie. “But a man who thinks only about himself is hopelessly uncultured. He’s uncultured, no matter how highly educated he is.”

A humble person never seeks to show himself better, more capable, smarter than others, does not emphasize his superiority, his qualities, does not require any privileges, special amenities, services.

At the same time, modesty should not be associated with either shyness or shyness. These are completely different categories. Very often modest people turn out to be much harder and more active in critical circumstances, but it is known that it is impossible to convince oneself of the truth by a dispute.

D. Carnegie writes: “You can make it clear to a person that he is wrong, with a look, intonation or gesture no less eloquent than with words, but if you tell him that he is wrong, will you force him to agree with you “Never! For you inflicted a direct blow to his intellect, his common sense, his self-esteem and self-esteem. This will only make him want to strike back, but not to change his mind.” This fact is cited: during his stay at the White House, T. Roosevelt once admitted that if he were right in seventy-five cases of a hundred, he could not have desired anything better. “If this was the maximum of what one of the most prominent people of the twentieth century could hope for, what can you say about us?” – D. Carnegie asks and concludes: “If you can be sure of your innocence in at least fifty-five cases out of a hundred, then why should you tell others that they are wrong.” Indeed, someone third, watching the raging debaters, can put an end to the misunderstanding with a friendly, tactful remark, a sympathetic desire to understand the point of view of both debaters.

You should never start with the statement “I will prove to you this and that.” This is equivalent to what psychologists say to say: “I’m smarter than you, I’m going to tell you something and make you change your mind.” It’s a challenge. This gives your interlocutor internal resistance and a desire to fight you before you start the argument. To prove something, you need to do it so subtly, so skillfully that no one feels it.

D. Carnegie considers the following as one of the golden rules: “People should be taught as if you hadn’t taught them. And unfamiliar things should be presented as forgotten.” Calmness, diplomacy, a deep understanding of the interlocutor’s argumentation, well-thought-out counterargument based on accurate facts – this is the solution to this contradiction between the requirements of a “good tone” in discussions and firmness in upholding one’s opinion.

Nowadays, almost everywhere there is a desire to simplify many of the conventions prescribed by civil etiquette. This is one of the signs of the times: the pace of life, which has changed and continues to change rapidly in social conditions, has a strong influence on etiquette. Therefore, a lot of what was adopted at the beginning or middle of our century may now seem absurd.

Nevertheless, the basic, best traditions of civil etiquette, even having changed in form, remain to live in their own spirit. Ease, naturalness, sense of proportion, courtesy, tact, and most importantly benevolence towards people – these are qualities that will help without fail in any life situations, even when you are not familiar with any small rules of civil etiquette that exist on The earth is a great multitude.

7. The origin of professional ethics

To find out the origin of professional ethics is to trace the relationship of moral requirements with the division of social labor and the emergence of a profession. Aristotle, then Comte, Durkheim, paid attention to these questions many years ago. They talked about the relationship of the division of social labor with the moral principles of society. For the first time, a materialistic substantiation of these problems was given by K. Marx and F. Engels.

The emergence of the first professional and ethical codes refers to the period of the artisan division of labor in the setting up of medieval workshops in the 11th-12th centuries. It was then that for the first time they ascertained the presence in the shop charters of a number of moral requirements in relation to the profession, the nature of work, and partners in labor.

However, a number of professions, which are vital for all members of society, arose in ancient times, and therefore, such professional and ethical codes as the Hippocratic Oath, moral standards of priests who performed judicial functions, were known much earlier.

The emergence of professional ethics in time preceded the creation of scientific ethical teachings, theories about it. Everyday experience, the need to regulate the relationship between people of a particular profession led to the realization and execution of certain requirements of professional ethics.

Professional ethics, having emerged as a manifestation of everyday moral consciousness, then already developed on the basis of generalized behavior practices of representatives of each professional group. These generalizations were contained in both written and unwritten codes of conduct, and in the form of theoretical conclusions. Thus, this indicates a transition from everyday consciousness to theoretical consciousness in the field of professional morality. A major role in the formation and adoption of professional ethics is played by public opinion. The norms of professional morality do not immediately become generally recognized, it is sometimes associated with the struggle of opinions.

The relationship of professional ethics and social consciousness exists in the form of tradition. Different types of professional ethics have their own traditions, which indicates the continuity of basic ethical standards developed by representatives of a particular profession over the centuries.

8. Professionalism, as a moral trait of personality

Professional ethics is a set of moral standards that determine a person’s attitude to his professional duty. The moral relations of people in the labor sphere are regulated by professional ethics. Society can function and develop normally only as a result of the continuous process of production of material and values.

The content of professional ethics are codes of conduct that prescribe a certain type of moral relationship between people and ways to justify these codes.

Professional ethics studies:

– relations of labor collectives and each specialist individually;

– moral qualities of the personality of the specialist, which ensure the best performance of professional duty;

– relationships within professional groups, and those specific moral standards inherent in a given profession;

– Features of professional education.

Professionalism and attitude to work are important characteristics of the moral character of a person. They are of paramount importance in the personality characteristics of the individual, but at different stages of historical development, their content and assessment were significantly different. In a class society, they were determined by the social inequality of types of labor, the opposite of mental and physical labor, and the presence of privileged and unprivileged professions. The class character of morality in the world of work is evidenced by what was written in the first third of the second century BC. Christian biblical book “The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach”, in which there is a teaching on how to treat a slave: “feed, stick and burden – for a donkey; bread, punishment and work – for a slave. Engage a slave with work and you will have peace “loosen his hands and he will seek freedom.” In ancient Greece, physical labor in value and importance was at its lowest. And in a feudal society, religion regarded labor as a punishment for original sin, and paradise was presented as eternal life without labor.

Under capitalism, the alienation of workers from the means of production and the results of labor gave rise to two types of morality:

predatory – predatory capitalist

collectively – liberating working class,

extended to the world of work. About this writes F. Engels: “… each class and even profession have their own morality.”

Those situations in which people find themselves in the process of fulfilling their professional tasks have a strong influence on the formation of professional ethics. In the process of labor, certain moral relations develop between people. They have a number of elements inherent in all types of professional ethics.

Firstly, this is the attitude to social work, to the participants in the labor process.

Secondly, these are the moral relations that arise in the area of ​​direct contact of the interests of professional groups with each other and with society.

Professional ethics is not the result of inequality in the degree of morality of various professional groups. Just for some types of professional activities, society shows increased moral requirements. Basically, these are professional areas in which the labor process itself requires the coordination of the actions of all its participants.

Particular attention is paid to the moral qualities of workers in that area that are related to the right to control people’s lives, this is not only about the level of morality, but primarily about the proper fulfillment of their professional duties (these are professions from the fields of services, transport, management, healthcare, education). The labor activity of people of these professions, more than any others, is not amenable to preliminary regulation, does not fit in the framework of official instructions. She is essentially creative. The specifics of the work of these professional groups complicate moral relations and a new element is added to them: interaction with people – objects of activity. Here, moral responsibility is crucial. The company considers the moral qualities of the employee as one of the leading elements of his professional suitability. General moral standards should be specified in the labor activity of a person, taking into account the specifics of his profession. Thus, professional morality should be considered in unity with the generally accepted moral system. Violation of work ethics is accompanied by the destruction of general moral attitudes, and vice versa.

The employee’s irresponsible attitude to professional duties poses a danger to others, causes harm to society, and may ultimately lead to the degradation of the individual himself.

At the moment, in Russia, the need arises to develop a new type of professional morality, which reflects the ideology of labor activity based on the development of market relations. This is primarily about the moral ideology of the new middle class, which constitutes the vast majority of the workforce in an economically developed society.

In modern society, the individual qualities of an individual begin with his business characteristics, attitude to work, level of professional suitability. All this determines the exceptional relevance of the issues that make up the content of professional ethics. True professionalism is based on such moral standards as duty, honesty, exactingness for oneself and one’s colleagues, responsibility for the results of one’s work.

9. The cultural image of the leader

Nowadays there are especially great demands on the leader. But leaders are not born. They are put forward and brought up by life. They are elected by the labor collective. Or, basically, they are appointed “from above.” We have not yet translated an authoritarian style into a democratic one. Although we wishful thinking is valid. For the facts of life, as in a mirror, reflect our curvature of thoughts, “fantasy”. So, we are still far from democracy. But, nevertheless, it is impossible to abolish the high demands on production commanders, from an ordinary commander or employee to the head of a brigade, a collective farm, a scientific group or a minister, an academician who work surrounded by people, for communication with which their inner culture and its manifestation are required – etiquette.

To understand a person, there is little efficiency, logic or specific advice. We need cordiality, sincerity, goodwill. When they are not there, it is cold to people near that person. Courtesy, correct handling, obligatoriness and punctuality also contribute to the art of leadership.

10. Conversations with visitors and subordinates

All of the above applies to the reception of visitors, and the answer to letters, and promises to help.

An important role is played by the culture of speech. Familiarity, “poking”, foul language are unacceptable. Such treatment causes persistent personal antipathy and resentment against one or another “representative of the authorities”.

The same applies to the labor sector. In production, where a person spends most of his life, the level of culture of managers who are called upon to organize, rally, and direct the work of the team is of great importance to people. It is pleasant and interesting to work under the guidance of a friendly person, respecting his subordinates, showing culture and tact in communicating with them.

The team headed by such a leader creates an atmosphere conducive to the disclosure of the creative capabilities of each employee, which has a beneficial effect on their labor productivity and health.

And, on the contrary, with their behavior based on disrespect for people, another leader contributes to the creation of a difficult, tense atmosphere at the enterprise or in the institution, leading to the disruption of tasks and chronic emotional stress of employees. This over time negatively affects their health and reduces labor productivity. Humanity, correctness, tact in communicating with people, especially with people subordinate to the service (of course, combined with the necessary exactingness), should be inalienable qualities of someone who is entrusted with leading other people.

11. Ethics of receiving visitors and subordinates

What should be the culture of communication between the leader and subordinates?

If the theater begins with a hanger, then we can say that any institution for their visitors begins with a checkpoint, with a reception. And because these institutions of the production apparatus function well, new people judge the work culture, the culture of the head of the enterprise.

Are there room signs everywhere, signs indicating reception times? Of course, life does not stand still, and it may happen that a person is forced to be absent at the time allotted for reception. Then this should be clearly explained to the waiting people, and after the apology, the new meeting time should be called.

The secretary is obliged to notify the people appointed at the reception in advance, informing them of another time or referring them to competent people. Often, most issues can be resolved by the deputy head of the institution.

Some leaders have adapted to receive several visitors, hoping that then people will not spend time seeing other people waiting around. This is a disguised disrespect for the needs of people who can not always fully present their case in the presence of strangers, especially if it is of a personal nature (trouble, family relationships, etc.). Then it is inconvenient for those present to witness an intimate conversation. Often, the reception of visitors is interrupted to solve urgent matters, telephone calls.

It also creates inconvenience and interferes with focused conversation, insights. Of course, like any person, the leader may have a spoiled mood, poor health. A good leader will make sure that this does not affect business, people, does not show a bad character.


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