Grappling with the Gray

Archive Episode #13: Unsanctioned Intervention?

April 05, 2023 Yonason Goldson
Grappling with the Gray
Archive Episode #13: Unsanctioned Intervention?
Show Notes

If no good deed goes unpunished, should we still risk doing the right thing?

Few things in life are black and white.  That’s why we have to learn to Grapple with the Gray.

This episode's ethics challenge:

True story:

Susan was working in the back office of a neighborhood clinic one morning.  A patient arrived and was admitted for consultation.  Susan heard raised voices, after which the patient reappeared and quickly left the clinic in a state of apparent grief or anger.  Had there been some disagreement or misunderstanding?  Susan assumed so but couldn’t know for sure.

Under normal circumstances, Susan probably wouldn’t have thought twice.  But only a week earlier, a disgruntled client had left an office just down the street after a conflict, then returned with a gun and started shooting.

Susan didn’t want to take the chance that her inaction might put others (and herself) at risk.  Perhaps with a simple check-in she might determine if there was any cause for genuine concern.

Because all visits were confidential, looking up the man’s identity would be a violation of privacy.  Susan tried to reach her supervisor for permission to open the database, but her supervisor was unavailable.

Susan took the initiative.  She looked up the man’s name and phone number, then gave him a call.

“Hello,” she said into the phone.  “I’m calling to check in… you seemed upset when you left our office.  Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Oh, no,” the man replied.  “I was a little distressed, but I’m fine now.  Thanks so much for calling.”

Subsequently, Susan found herself reprimanded by her supervisor.

Was she wrong to do what she did?

Meet this week’s panelists:

Sonia Funk is a corporate wellness strategist and speaker, a nutritional therapist, and an award winning singer and songwriter.

S. Scott Mason , aka the Myth Slayer, is a Transformational Coach for Executives, Entrepreneurs & Other Leaders, podcast host, and keynote speaker.

Heather R Younger is a keynoter and consultant on employee engagement and DEI, a TEDx speaker, podcast host, and author of the new book, The Art of Caring Leadership.