8 habits of integrity

4 min read

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The other day there was a job posting for an integrity engineer. This opening fascinated me. The objective of the job was to work with other departments regarding integrity requirements for new product developments. OK, that’s integrity on paper.

But how do you strive to and uphold a high standard of integrity in life, both professional and personal?

Integrity is a very important character strength in leadership since it creates trust. In science, integrity is essential to validate results. Integrity is an important basis in relationships. It’s closely connected to reliability, honesty, accountability and trustfulness.

So, what do people with high integrity do? What are their habits and qualities? Well, they:

1) Are available and approachable

Be open for communication. So let people know that they can talk to you. Talk to them and listen (link to other blog) carefully to what they need, feel and want.

2) Communicate expectations

When you talk to people, tell them what you expect. Preferably be as specific as possible. Tell them to come to you (see ad1))  when they can’t meet a certain deadline for a task so you can manage expectations (to other stakeholders).

3) Stand up for what they believe in

This means that you don’t cheat and that you have the courage to tell and see the truth (that means to address the elephant in the room as well). And you never compromise to your values.

4) Talk the walk & walk the talk

Do what you’ve promised to do. This means that you’re both giving AND taking promises. Remind other of what they’ve promised. Be and hold others accountable. This means you’re actually taking an action to do something about a situation. This is different than from being responsible.

5) Review the facts

People with integrity review raw data carefully and the facts before making a decision, reacting or having an opinion about something. Reviewing the data is especially important in research or with laboratory results before submitting reports or any claims. But, how often have you reacted to a situation where you’d have reacted differently if you’d known the details? Use an inspection tool for large quantities of data or just simply answer these 3 questions before responding:

-Is it true?

-Is it kind?

-Is it necessary?

6) Pay it forward

The idea of paying it forward (like a caffè sospeso) is that you do something for the benefit of somebody or something. Leaders with integrity see the bigger picture. Whatever they do will in the end come back to them. So why do not do something good?

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.

-Oprah Winfrey (1954 – ), in Good Housekeeping

7) Do The Right Thing

Why? Because it’s the right thing to do! It’s in line with what you want in life or business.

8) Provide training and guidance

People with integrity want to be in an environment with people they can trust. So they train them to become better in their field, they coach or guide them and send them to follow an education.

Note that persons of integrity can make mistakes too. They learn from these by reflecting on what & how something went wrong so they will act differently in the future. This means showing vulnerability and willing to grow. Another sign of leadership.

Conclusion

The base of integrity is more than being honest and sincere. You can be honest once and this doesn’t mean that you have the integrity where you strive to express these qualities and habits most of time. Integrity is a mind state and not something you do once in a while.

 

What means integrity to you and how do you strive towards this? Let me know in the comment field below. I’m curious!

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