Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.Proverbs 10:9
Is widely trusted by others
Follows through on one’s word and commitments
Is consistent in one’s own words and actions; doesn’t change one’s story or one’s stated facts
Communicates the complete truth in an appropriate and helpful manner – does not twist facts
Keeps one’s word; keeps appropriate topics confidential
Admits one’s own mistakes quickly
“Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching”
– C.S. Lewis
Is not widely trusted by others
May change one’s story or facts, or not be willing to state facts
May treat others differently; may use different measures, rules or expectations for different people
One’s spoken words and actions are not in alignment – may say one thing but do another
May have trouble keeping confidences; inappropriately shares private information with others
Makes promises that one doesn’t or can’t keep or accomplish
May lack follow-through on commitments; does not do what one promises
Blames others for one’s own mistakes
Perceived as someone who only says and does things that benefit oneself
“Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”
Causes of Weakness
Dislikes conflict; avoids difficult issues, topics or tasks in order to not confront conflict
Has a disconnect between what one says and what one truly believes or feels passionate about
Fears failure or difficulty or potential negative consequences of taking action and doing the ‘right’ thing
Lacks the necessary skills and experience to follow-through on a commitment or task
Overly ambitious and optimistic about what one can accomplish
Problems with keeping confidences or talking too much; a verbal processor; needs a trusted person to talk to
Has more to do than one can reasonably accomplish; can’t say ‘no’ to work
Treats others differently, unequally or unfairly, possibly due to prejudices or past experiences
“People with good intentions make promises, but people with good character keep them.”
Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.
HESITANT? Practice coming up with two or three clear statements you are prepared to defend. Test them with people you trust. Keep them on the facts and on the problems. Be specific and don’t blame. Don’t qualify or make your statements conditional. Just say it.
OVERSELL? If you’re not going to finish in the time promised, go back and tell him/her the problem; either renegotiate or ask what else you should move down his/her list of requests. Don’t promise something unless you can deliver. If you don’t know for sure, say, ‘I’ll let you know when I do.’ Either promise or don’t—don’t say ‘I’ll try.’ If you don’t know, just say so and follow up when you do know.
TELL SECRETS? Be clear on what keeping a confidence means. Some rules are: Keep personal information confidential. Ask up front, ‘Is this to be kept confidential?’ If someone is complaining about a coworker’s ethics, tell him/her you can do nothing since you know nothing directly. Have him/her confront the person directly before continuing the discussion
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Admit your mistakes early and inform everyone affected what could happen because of it. Publicly acknowledge the mistake if necessary; take personal responsibility. Demonstrate what you have learned so the mistake does not happen again. Move on; don’t dwell on it. Those who admit doubt, errors and mistakes are seen as more competent.
DISORGANIZED? If you don’t follow through well, focus on the receiver. What does this person need to know to implement this change? If you tend to forget, write things down. Set up a specific time each day to follow through on commitments. Delegate more!
EARNED DISTRUST? Admit you have regularly betrayed trusts and not followed through on your commitments. Talk with your boss or mentor to see if you can redeem yourself. If yes, meet with everyone you think you’ve affected and see how they respond. Apologize. Tell them what you’re going to do differently. Ask them what you should stop doing.
TOO SELF-FOCUSED/AMBITIOUS? Help other people get ahead with the same energy as you promote yourself. Be more of a mentor and coach to people with the right stuff who need help to grow and prosper. People will trust you more if they view the relationship as a long-term one rather than something you’re just doing because you have to for a few years.
POOR REPUTATION? Write down all the reasons people have for believing you aren’t very trustworthy. (i.e. ‘People say I change my mind too much.’) Beside this write down what you actually do or don’t do to cause this impression. (‘I jump to conclusions; ‘I’m easily influenced when people complain about something.’) Beside this write down the name of someone who does this well. What do they do that you don’t? What do you do that they don’t? Write down what you will start, stop and continue doing. (‘I’ll stop and ask questions, not give an immediate answer’; ‘I’ll examine the situation and get back to them in a timely manner.’)