Today, we have more knowledge than ever before. We have access to databases, the web, social media, global communications – and yet the task of making tricky decisions is no easier. It’s easy to find out the answer to a burning question online – how did we live before Google and Wikipedia? Knowledge is instantly accessible. But we are long on knowledge and short on wisdom. We need wisdom and discernment to use the knowledge for good. So how do we make wise, tough decisions at work?
how do we make wise, tough decisions at work?
One of the richest men in the ancient world, King Solomon, prayed for a ‘discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong’ (1 Kings 3:9). All our invented terms such as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘counterproductive’ are efforts to avoid the simple ethical fact there is a right and wrong way that should be described as such. This doesn’t mean there are instant, obvious answers to complex moral questions. There is frequently a process to go through to reach a conclusion. When seeking a compass to navigate through the confusing maze of commercial decisions, I have found four ways of reaching a decision helpful.
- Our relationship with God provides the context for all our decisions
- We have God-given faculties of reasoning
- We are given what Augustine called ‘a silent clamour of truth ringing inside’ – our conscience
- We need to assess the consequences of our decisions, not only for ourselves but also for others.
The best decisions are when these four are aligned.