Counter Rationalizations Rationally

Counter Rationalizations Rationally

Mary Gentile discusses commonly confronted rationalizations and potential responses for those who wish to act effectively and with integrity under pressure.


When we encounter values conflicts in the workplace, we often face barriers that appear in the form of “reasons and rationalizations” for pursuing a particular course of action. These obstacles can confound our best attempts to fulfill our own sense of organizational and personal purpose. These are the objections you hear from your colleagues when you try to point out an ethical problem in the way things are being done. Sometimes you don’t even hear them because they are the unspoken assumptions — seeming truisms — of the organization.

It is extremely difficult to make a strong argument against the “prevailing winds” if you feel you are in the minority, or if you don’t feel you have the time to come up with a workable alternative or if you don’t want to take the chance to present a half-baked response. So the Giving Voice to Values curriculum is about creating a time and space to be in the majority, with sufficient time to come up with a fully baked and pre-tested response to some of the most common challenges you are likely to face in your workplace.

Source: Giving Voice to Values: How to Counter Rationalizations Rationally

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