Thursday


Conflict of interest decoded



Conflict of interest is a term widely circulated and heard in the corporate world. It refers to a situation where a person's self interest clashes with his professional or public interest. Code of corporate governance is all about avoidance of this conflict, avoiding or entering into any deals. The purpose is to create transparency in the corporate world.  It is essential to have a sound and healthy corporate culture which in turn foster credibility in the corporate world thus safeguarding the soundness of a nation's economy and the interest of the business world.

But when it comes to personal relationship management, what role does conflict of interest play? What code of conduct for avoiding conflict of interest in personal and relationship management can one think of? Can there be any code of conduct at all? Experts on this must be working overtime to arrive at an acceptable code of conduct.  However, I guess aiming for a definition or setting any code of conduct in matters of relationship management is akin to chasing a chimera as human mind is so complex and unpredictable.

However, most of the relationships crumble mainly because of the following reasons:
Taking it for granted is a sure prescription for killing it. As the relationship (be it friendship, kith and kins, colleagues, love) blossoms, we take it for granted. Soon, familiarity breeds to such a stage that we treat it at our whims and fancies. We do not bother to think nor would it occur to us how our actions, reactions and gestures could upset and affect the other.  The seeds of discontentment and aggrandisement have thus been sown.

Familiarity not only breeds not contempt but possessiveness as well. Before even we realise, the relationship reaches in possessive mode. It is purely based on selfish motives.  We create dos and don'ts in the form of taboos and expect them to follow as per our wishes and fancies. 

Expectations ruin relationships. The quid pro quo motto soon creeps into the relationship.  A huge expectation is built up. There is expectation that every act, gesture, kindness and compassion must be reciprocated in double quantity. Thus the relationship becomes business oriented. 

The failure to accept the change is yet another reason why even the matured relationships get into bad weather and fade away with the passing of time. People, attitude, behaviour and frame of mind cannot remain the same always. It varies as time takes its toll. The change can be in the form of outlook on life, lifestyle and preference. We cannot expect others to remain in the same frame of mind always.

Change is quite natural and it must be accepted with the flow of time. Even when you have difference of opinion, there should be mutual respect and understanding. That's how relationships are flourished and nourished.

 Selfless commitment, support and devotion are qualities that reaffirm any relationship. Come forward spontaneously for a helping hand when your friends are in need of it.  Don't just wait for the call – that's not friendship.

Be in the same wave length. It is not so easy.  But true friends do anticipate, react and are proactive. Failure of disclosure of conflicting interest is against the code of corporate governance in the corporate world. What would happen if it were to be extended to relationship management? Will it ever work?

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