2.4.4 Leading with professional courage The inner strength needed to make and be accountable for decisions, and to stand against anything that could bring our profession into disrepute.

First published How we lead with professional courage We lead with professional courage by:

  • taking responsibility and leading by example
  • being honest and trustworthy
  • thinking through the consequences of our decisions
  • challenging unprofessional behaviour and practice
  • inviting feedback, scrutiny and challenge How we use this principle in practice We have the inner strength needed to make, and be accountable for, our actions and decisions. We stand against anything that could bring our profession into disrepute, and we challenge all forms of unprofessionalism with courage. This requires us all to do the right thing, even when the circumstances are difficult and where the outcome is not certain or favourable for all. We demonstrate integrity and we understand the need to be truthful in accounting for our decisions and actions. We expect that these will be assessed by the quality of our decision-making, rather than the outcome. We think through the possible consequences of our actions and consider these in our decisions. We expect our leaders to set the ethical tone of the organisation. They will nurture a supportive environment where ethical issues are challenged and addressed. We also expect our leaders to understand their professional responsibilities to demonstrate reflection and a commitment to self-improvement. They are responsible for providing the supportive organisational culture that facilitates learning and development, and ensuring that honest reflection does not receive undue criticism. Everyone in policing is a role model, demonstrating professional behaviour. We challenge behaviours, language or attitudes that undermine our profession. We challenge all forms of discrimination, and we support and champion diversity and equality. We are courageous when we challenge colleagues, irrespective of rank or grade. We know that challenging others can take many forms. We may have to engage in difficult conversations with colleagues when we hear or see things that are unprofessional. Alternatively, we may need to report incidents of unprofessional conduct, ask for assistance or offer support to those involved. We welcome feedback, scrutiny and challenge from others on our decision making. We take ownership of our mistakes, address the consequences and learn from the experience. We see mistakes as an opportunity to develop and improve. We recognise the boundaries of our competence, using these as opportunities to develop and improve. We reflect inwardly to assess our biases, assumptions and knowledge gaps, understanding that they may have an impact on our decision-making.

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