How a Child Learns
Go online and read the poem “How a Child Learns” by Dorothy Law Nolte. Variations can also be found under the title “A Child Learns by Example.” Are the statements in the poem true? What exceptions might there be? (This can be a discussion opener for the next class.)
Look up the National Communication Association website and e-zine called “Communication Currents.” Check the archives for the article “Ethics in the City: How Talk about Ethics Leads to an Ethical Culture” (Vol. 1, Issue 1). Discuss the following questions in class:
- What was the research method used by Jovanovic and Wood? Whom did they study?
- Why did the researchers think that much of the ethics discourse they heard was ineffective?
- What strategies do the authors recommend for improving the discussion of ethics in the workplace?
- At what level in an organization should ethical decisions be made? How do ethics discussions relate to leadership?
- What are the real ethical situations you face in your line of work?
Go online to a business magazine home page such as INC (http://www.inc.com) or Fortune (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune). In the search box, enter one of the key terms from the chapter, such as ethics, distributive justice, servant leadership, altruism, or virtues. Read two or three of the articles and write a short summary of their content. How are these topics relevant for workers today? What is the role of communication in these processes? What does the new information contribute to our understanding of ethical leadership?
Find the website of an activist organization you respect, working for a cause you believe in. What is the function of the website? How does an online presence create passion for a cause? Influence others? Set and accomplish goals? What sets this cause apart from others? Which of the five ethical principles are reflected in the website? Is virtual leadership the main or only form of leadership in the organization? How effective is the site in furthering the organization’s goals?
Look up the website of an activist organization you disagree with. Apply the same questions as above. Are your perceptions affected by their ideological differences with this cause? Is this organization regarded as less ethical than the first organization? Why?
Write a two-page summary of your responses to these questions and turn in copies of the home pages of the sites analyzed.
The Dark Side of Leadership
Discuss the dark side of leadership in class. Have students experienced any of these distressing leader behaviors? How did they and other followers respond? After the discussion, show the TED talk by Simon Sinek on “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe.” Discuss Sinek’s points. What other suggestions do students have for how leaders can watch out for their followers?
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development
Go online and research more of Kohlberg’s ideas, such as (a) one must progress through the stages in order; (b) people can’t comprehend moral reasoning at more than one level beyond their current stage; (c) people are motivated to grow morally when they experience some internal disequilibrium, and so on at http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~ncoverst/Kohlberg's%20Stages%20of%20Moral%20Development.htm. Discuss whether the explanation of how the stages work makes sense to the students. Do men and women experience and express the stages the same way? Do non-North Americans experience the stages differently than do North Americans? How can society encourage leaders to higher levels of moral development? Does higher moral development relate to motivations for leadership?
Look up the webpage of “35 Photos that Tell a Story.” What makes them so effective? Find a photo from an online archive such as Google Images that (a) captures one of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development or (b) exemplifies one of the five principles of ethical leadership. How can visual images can be motivational as well as descriptive?