When faced with a question that requires morality-based answers, don't ask yourself "What should I do?" Harvard researchers say the right question is "What could I do?" The basis of the idea is that a "should" question makes you choose between alternatives, while a "could" question makes you think of creative solutions. The "could" mindset generates moral insight, which is the realisation that two competing ideas aren't entirely incompatible.
In a series of online experiments, they asked participants to ponder such hypothetical dilemmas as whether to hire the (not very qualified) son of an important person for an internship. They found that the "could" mental construction led participants to have better moral insight, enabling them to formulate solutions that resolved the tension between competing objectives. They generated solutions that didn't simply select one path at the expense of the other.
Let's face it, your ethical dilemmas are not going to magically become easy by asking "could" instead of "should" questions. However, such research is all part of knowledge that can help to make a moral decision. Don't rely solely on this mental trick, use it to get the best out of your decision-making process.
Does 'Could' Lead to Good? Toward a Theory of Moral Insight [Working Knowledge via Harvard Business Review]