Good self-awareness includes knowing how invisible, powerful forces can lead to making bad, unethical choices. contributor Travis Bradberry recently shared some of these outside-of-our-awareness influences and how they can affect us.

  • The compensation effect. Using good deeds to justify bad ones. If people perform the acts of a good person, they might feel justified in sometimes behaving badly.  
  • The power of names.  What things are called can sway opinion.  Businesses and politicians often name products, programs or bills to create false positive perceptions. 
  • Tunnel vision.Setting goals and driving hard to achieve them is good. But a singular focus can lead to ethical missteps.  
  • The pressure to conform.  Our need to belong can make it hard to go against a group that’s doing bad things.  
  • Obedience to authority.  Some people actually feel less responsible for wrongdoing if they’re following someone else’s orders.