Four Way Test

Try this simple filter, to check if an action is ethical:

As a shorter alternative to our ethics checklist, try the four way test, which has been adopted by a major service club (Rotary International) as an quick and effective way to screen the morality of any proposed course of action:

“Of the things we think, say or do:

Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

To pass the test, the answer must be Yes to all four questions.

The test serves as an effective "rule of thumb" to screen actions in most situations, and it is consistent with behavior recommended by major religions and philosopies. However, that doesn't necessarily make it easy to follow, because often people find themselves in situations where they are tempted to follow self-serving behavior at the expense of others.

This test was first implemented as a motto in a struggling company back in the 1930s. Far from being detrimental to the competitiveness of the company, it was instrumental in rescuing it. To find out more about that story, click here.

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Copyright Arthur de Leyssac, 2015, All Rights Reserved.