This month, I was witness to someone’s integrity being questioned and it got me thinking about what integrity actually is…
I’d always thought of integrity as being about honesty and adherence to moral and ethical principles. Actually, integrity is more than that.
Integrity is the condition of ‘wholeness’, where our thoughts, language and behaviour is consistent with the type of person we present ourselves to be.
It got me thinking.
I’ve had bosses in the past who have talked about empowering the team… and then behaved like a control-freak
I’ve known colleagues who claimed to be doing a great job… but who failed to deliver
I’ve had friends who said they were there for me… but who were absent the minute I needed their support
I’ve known people who bang on about the importance of being respectful… but who then failed to behave respectfully to others
These are essentially examples of a lack of integrity, but it may be that none of these people were intentionally dishonest.
The thing that occurred to me is this: if there are inconsistencies between what we claim to be about and what we actually do, our honesty can be questioned. But if the inconsistencies are never brought to our awareness, it is human nature to continue in pattern.
So, whilst being witness to this persons integrity being questioned was uncomfortable, it was actually helpful because it brought the specific inconsistency into conscious awareness and enabled them to address it.
Is your behaviour in line with what you claim to be about?