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Conference Summary. The conference on ethics and safety demonstrated that there is a serious interest in these subjects among those in our field. But the media prefer to write about accidents.

Background for the conference.

Team building and leadership training have many facets. Some would call it a tangled or grey market. How is a personnel manager to look out for the safety of colleagues, if there is not even a recommendation? The
"Flügger Case" is just the latest incident to place our work in a dark
light. Unfortunately, the stories are not just about physical injuries but
mental trauma. At the same time there arises the question about how far we will press course participants and why. In short, it's about our ethics.

This is why our conference on ethics and safety was held on June 21st, 2006.

The objective was:

* To signal the association's seriousness about ethics and safety
* To give those in the field who are interested an opportunity to discuss the problems associated with ethics and safety in our work
* To start an internal debate in the field, and discuss joint guidelines
* To assure that clients and course participants are treated responsibly
* To start a public debate

Everyone in the "tangled market" as well as selected personnel and HR managers were invited to participate in the conference. It is gratifying that more than a half hundred showed interest and most of them attended. Unfortunately, it is also telling that about three times as many did not respond to the invitation.

The conference had invited two critics to present their views.

Rudolf Kjeldsen - section leader for cross-disciplinary training in TDC (Danish Telephone Company) He is a clinical psychologist.
TDC is involved in a process of developing a tool that will assure the quality of their suppliers. Roughly speaking, the company wants to improve their ability to "see" what they are getting when they choose a supplier. The idea if to have greater certainty that the supplier can
account for its dispositions, thereby assuring TDC of a relationship between contents and return. They wish to have clear objectives. This is why they are working on a form for mandated specification, whose main characteristics will be presented to us.

Kirsten Marie Bovbjerg - researcher at Denmark's Pedagogical University, a debater and author of the book "Følsomhedens etik" (Sensitivity's Ethic).

Focusing on two different problems, she dug deeply into the ethics of
our business sector and the employment market:

* Why should and employee have to take a course during working
hours and what are the limits to what one can be exposed to?
* What are the ethics behind the work morality that is prevalent and that demands eternal improvement?

After two exciting presentations and a panel discussion there was time for the participants to split into small groups and discuss subjects of their own choosing. This evolved into a lively debate in which individuals and trade groups, who did not know each other beforehand, exchanged experiences and beliefs.

The networking and discussions ended with nine subjects that were made note of, and just as many others that never got on paper. The nine subjects, including those who are anchoring them, are as follows:

1. Should one exceed one's limits in order to develop further? (Villy Eenberg)
2. How do we differentiate between different courses? (Jesper Nielsen)
3. Ethical paradoxes in tendencises. Bente Højer)
4. How far can/should we go in tailoring individuals to a business culture? (Maria Enevoldsen)
5. When do we say "yes" or "no" to a job? (Jørgen S. Galsøe)
6. Should participants be informed of a course's contents before it begins? (Mia Hesselberg-Thomsen)
7. When is one trained to educate people? (Michael Ellekjær)
8. When should consultants and psychologists be used? (Jesper Ritzau)
9. Do you need leadership experience to train leaders? (Mads Cronquist)

The conference was an internal success. The association will continue to work on the above problems as well as try to reach out in the public debate. We must admit that participation in the public debate is very difficult. All of the national newspapers have so far rejected contributions from our side. They are only interested in us when we stub our toes.

Written by: , September 24th, 2006

News from the Trade Association for Team Building and Leadership Training
The article can be found at english/news_bftl.htm
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