What Does That Even Mean?

Everyone has been there, its Friday and you are getting ready to shut down everything after what seems to be a never ending week. Suddenly your email icon pops up, you instantly think “you’ve got mail”, could it be your boss giving you Monday off, or, maybe it is email saying you are getting that raise you have been wanting. Unfortunately, you open up the email and it is the company’s new Ethical Communication Policy. New ethical communication policy? What was the old ethical communication policy? What do all of these policies even mean? Below are examples of ethical communication policies and what they mean:

We advocate truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason as essential to the integrity of communication.(Council, N. L.,1999) – This is like saying that the organization will always do and say what is best for the organization even if it is not the popular vote.

We endorse freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, and tolerance of dissent to achieve the informed and responsible decision making fundamental to a civil society. (Council, N. L.,1999) – The organization is open to everyone expressing their opinions as long as it says within reason.

We strive to understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding to their messages. (Council, N. L.,1999) – Getting to know someone helps you to know how they feel, why they express themselves in certain ways and then leads to knowing what their message means.

We promote access to communication resources and opportunities as necessary to fulfill human potential and contribute to the well-being of families, communities, and society. (Council, N. L.,1999) – The company is always looking for ways to keep their employees happy.

We promote communication climates of caring and mutual understanding that respect the unique needs and characteristics of individual communicators. (Council, N. L.,1999) – Everyone is not always going to have the same communication styles, this allows everyone no matter the style to feel comfortable speaking their minds.

We condemn communication that degrades individuals and humanity through distortion, intimidation, coercion, and violence, and through the expression of intolerance and hatred. (Council, N. L.,1999) – The organization does not allow disrespect at any level.

We are committed to the courageous expression of personal convictions in pursuit of fairness and justice. (Council, N. L.,1999) – They will hear out every side of a argument and wants their employees to feel like they can report anything.

We advocate sharing information, opinions, and feelings when facing significant choices while also respecting privacy and confidentiality.(Council, N. L.,1999)-They want it to be an open space to be able to share ideas and help others.

We accept responsibility for the short- and long-term consequences for our own communication and expect the same of others. (Council, N. L.,1999) -If there is a issue that doesn’t get resolved they will take responsibility for the poor actions.

Feel free to comment below with policies you have seen and thought “what does this even mean?”


Council, N. L. (1999). NCA Credo for Ethical Communication. Free Speech Yearbook, 4, 3.


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