Ombuds’ corner: Ethics and compassion

We can all agree that efficiency leads excellent results; this is a cornerstone in research and organisational matters. However, people may not unanimously point to which method of management and leadership is best for achieving such a goal.


Some believe in an authoritarian approach, pushing people to their maximum potentials; others advocate a softer approach, making close friends with everyone; and some have no strategy for workplace relationships, and only consider due dates and deliverables. All of these methods can be very effective, but none is completely perfect. Beyond such methods, at the source of working relationships, ethics and compassion should “shine like a lighthouse over the ocean of the tasks to undertake”. Why?

When hearing “ethics” and “compassion” linked together, people may think: “Oh! We do not need to like each other; we just have to work together!” But we are the creators of our environment. As a result, I would imagine that we would all like to create a world in which we can live harmoniously, feeling free, and working with enthusiasm and happiness. That is compassion, and it requires good ethics. Harsh management creates a harsh world for its leader; in the end, the leader – and everyone around them – will suffer.

Ethics and compassion find their source within us. Only if we are filled with good ethics can we spread it to those around us. Only if we understand compassion - creating our own world in which we can live joyfully – can we spread compassion and create a work ambiance where everyone is recognized and is eager to perform with maximum efficiency. Ethics and compassion should never be considered weaknesses, but rather as essential elements for providing a working environment favourable to the best effectiveness.

So, to achieve excellence in our working relationships, which goes hand in hand with scientific and administrative excellence in our laboratory, we have to start with ourselves. The Ombuds is always at your service to discuss cases and provide confidential feedback.

Contact the Ombuds Early!


As a reminder, all previous Ombuds corners can be accessed in the Ombuds blog.

by Vincent Vuillemin