Integrity… a behaviour and ethic that I have always held as a core value both personally and in others.
Delivering on our promises to others is an obvious example of integrity, what else does it mean and what are its pillars? If I had to explain the concept of integrity to a curious youngster, I might ask them to explain what honesty, playing fair, doing the right thing, and keeping promises (among other similar positive values) means to them. I might then explain that integrity is to consistently demonstrate these values and behaviours no matter what and, most importantly, that doing so is not always easy, it is not about recognition, it is simply right.
While we all innately understand these core values and principles from our own perspectives as individuals, what does it look like from our perspective as professionals in the workplace? While countless examples exist, the following came to mind:
- showing commitment and delivering on promises made;
- being honest with colleagues and clients about issues, deadlines, and costs;
- having the courage to speak openly and honestly, but measured and respectful manner;
- politely challenging others, and allowing others to challenge you;
- not ignoring or avoiding difficult conversations lest issues fester and create resentment;
- accepting positive feedback and negative feedback then moving on;
- being respectful of the views and opinions of others;
- recognising the efforts of others, and sharing wins and successes with your peers;
- being genuine in your dealings with others;
- giving someone the benefit of doubt in difficult or unclear circumstances;
- demonstrating humility when sharing your knowledge and ideas;
- being transparent about what you know or do not know;
- recognising your own personal biases and actively managing same; and
- owning your mistakes.
It is clear then that there is no one single value or principle that defines integrity but rather, integrity is the about consistently positive behaviour generally. And to draw on the famous words from The Castle, think of the vibe: if your actions feel right, they are. If your actions (or inaction) feels awkward or gnaw at you, then you need to correct course.
So why does integrity matter in the workplace?
It’s good for you as an individual – you look positively at yourself, and are recognised as sincere and credible to your peers, your direct reports, and customers and clients.
It’s good for the team, who feel a stronger sense of camaraderie and actively support each other.
It’s good for your customers and clients, who can trust in the quality and reliability of the goods/services you offer and who know that you genuinely have their best interests in mind.
And it’s simply good for business, being seen as employer of choice and trusted partner.
By Nick Travers,
Rehabilitation Team Leader
02 9493 9500