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Applied Ethics

Thought and education related to practical "applied ethics", in concert with thought and education related to creativity and personal presence, and in concert with thought and education related to reason and organization, are foundations of all applications of the Ethical Presence TM process. Ethics, AND personal presence and creativity, AND rational and substantive action, work IN UNITY in the most effective action when working with Ethical Presence TM. 


Such action can lead to work which feeds the soul, right and prosperous livelihood, and service to others. Ethical Presence TM is about being effective, doing good while doing well, and feeling satisfied in one's conscious authenticity while doing it.

Richard Thomas can help you and your organization create ways to live and work with more Ethical Presence TM.

"Applied Ethics" Skills Training and Coaching are applications of the Ethical Presence TM process.


Excerpt from Richard Thomas'
Ethical Presence 

It is not enough to understand mere rules of professional conduct. It is necessary to have the life skills to comply with them. I worked as a litigator at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. When I was there, I noticed that many lawyers didn’t need to be disciplined. They needed to be educated about the vast potential of their own humanity. I subsequently saw that was true for lawyers was true for business professionals and academics --- and any other person who works in a professional setting. Creativity, empathy, self-expression, critical thinking, conscience and other qualities falsely identified with talent are simply aspects of being human. They require no special talent. They can be accessed. They can be developed to greater depths. They can be practiced in order to strengthen facility in their application to the events and purposes of work and life.

The Rules of Professional Responsibility for Attorneys, and any formal or informal code of conduct for any profession, address these fundamental aspects of personal character:

  • Competence

  • Diligence

  • Communication

  • Honesty (Don’t lie)

  • Honesty (Don’t steal)

  • Civility


These aspects of character are also necessities of creativity. Picasso became more than competent at drafting and naturalistic painting before he innovated new forms. Anyone who has ever seriously practiced writing, music, acting or any other creative art knows how important diligent and sustained work is to achieving creative excellence. Art IS communication in a variety of forms. A good writer, visual artist, comedian --- you can fill in the form --- is honest --- attentive to detail, and willing to face hard truths. Artists who collaborate need the virtue of civility --- the emotional intelligence to be able to understand their own emotions and unconscious fears and desires, and the emotions and unconscious fears and desires of other people.

There is a unity in action that leads to ethical and creative behavior, and professional effectiveness and excellence. That unity is what Ethical Presence TM is all about. Ethical Presence TM is found where art and ethics meet. Note that Ethical Presence TM is not the study of art per se. It is the practice of making art, a very practical art which tends to the material needs of the world and the souls of all involved. My personal experience showed me that my background as an improvisational actor and writer informed my practice of law and informs my teaching; and that my background as a lawyer and teacher in a business school informs my writing and improvisational acting. Life, work and art are different perspectives regarding the same action.

Ethical Presence TM cannot be learned in the abstract. It can only be learned experientially. The values of Ethical Presence are universal, but each individual and each situation require that they be applied in specific and unique ways.


This book, and its companion course, are created to help foster the skills of Ethical Presence TM. Ethical Presence TM, when competently and diligently practiced, helps the individual care for her material needs, be of service to others, and meet the soul’s requirements for personal peace, happiness and satisfaction. Those may sound like big claims, but they are not. All that a book and course can do is orient your thinking. You have to do the hard work. I look forward to seeing that work in our class, and hearing about the service, success and personal satisfaction that you will create in your own special way through your work in the turmoil of the world.

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