The practice of honesty, ethics, and morality consistently is called integrity. You have it if you are honest and a man of moral principles. It is the quality we aspire to have, but of course, only when we are not being dishonest and immoral.
” Integrity is not something you show others. It is how you behave behind their back.”
Being honest and upright, following ethical principles is a very tough task in the 21st century. Having integrity is the consistency of our own character.
The values, beliefs, principles, and morals that a person holds is clear integrity. And a person who holds it is considered to be a person most trustworthy or say a man of words.
As we all know ‘Karma is always there to make us taste the fruits of our karma.’
Importance of Integrity
Integrity is something that is very important in our lives. The one who has it will never have to put a question mark about his own actions. Life is simple when we do the right things and go straight.
But when we try to change the track and move from self-respect to self-interest then, life becomes miserable. It starts taking you back where you started, it punishes you in several ways.
People with honesty gain the trust of their family members, colleagues, and other people. They do not fear to hold themselves accountable for their actions, good or bad. They even become role models for other people to follow their footsteps.
“Being good and a person of character doesn’t cost you anything. “
In turn, it provides you with success in life. Organizations consider working with people who have it, as they are more trustworthy and they make the symbol of ethical leadership.
Every organization wants a leader who is ethical and the one whom they can trust. Trust is basically the reflection that is returned back to you when you show honesty.
Integrity and Reputation
“The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”Japanese Proverb
As stated above, this proverb clearly stated that your integrity decides your reputation in public. One bad decision can destroy your lifetime’s name, fame, and reputation. And one good decision can lead to success.
It is not inbuilt, it’s a choice, a decision that a person makes which changes his life. It is difficult to practice it at first but once you get into it, it will be the best thing you will do to yourself.
Integrity can be practiced and developed
1. Defining your values –
First, you should define your core values, the principles you will follow. After all, you can’t find your way, if you don’t have proper guidance. These core values will be the ones that can not be compromised, no matter what.
2. Analyse every big decision that you make –
People tend to make the wrong choices or make bad decisions when no one watching them, but it will and should not be the case when you follow this path.
Integrity is when you make good and right decisions, even when no one is watching. Practicing it only when it’s convenient is not done. It should be practiced all the time.
3. Boost your integrity –
people who have integrity are all humble, strong self-control and self-consciousness, high self-esteem, and self-confidence. These qualities help them in pressurized situations. Having these characteristics can improve your integrity and build your consciousness and reputation.
There are some more points to keep in mind, they are –
- You should try to be assertive so that you can defend your integrity rightly.
- Always tell the truth. Lies may be easy to tell and they may cause no harm but they are still lying.
- Take responsibility for your actions. If you make a wrong decision, have the courage to hold up to it…
- Be a man of words. Keep your promises, don’t say what you can’t do. And when you say, stand for it.
- Under pressure or in out of control situations, it is very easy to make wrong decisions, but it is worth it to hold up to your character. Don’t lose yourself there.
- Don’t boost your ego, do good in silence. Always be humble and down to earth.
Life brings you to various situations where you can show your integrity –
- Always keep your promises even when it is difficult and takes more of your efforts.
- Never betray the trust of your friends, colleagues.
- Be true in your relationships/ with your partners.
- Payback to the store, if you forgot to do so.
- Don’t try to run away from other people’s money.
- Keep up to your commitments at the workplace.
- Do not talk ill about other people, on their back.
“Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership.”
Integrity and Leadership –
“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”Dwight D. Eisenhower
Organizations that have employees and executives with integrity as their supreme quality attract more investors and customers. The ethical behaviour of the company decides if the investor trusts you with his money and whether customers trust you with your products and services.
Every leader needs to build an environment that is ethical, and have an account of their decisions and actions. It is so because employees follow the footsteps of these leaders.
Leaders are the role models, they need to show their employees how it should be practiced in their organization.
Political Integrity –
Integrity is important for all the politicians to poses as they are chosen or elected to serve society. To be able to serve society, politicians are given the power to make, execute, or control policy of the society.
They have the power to influence everything. But there is a risk that politicians will not use this power to serve society, as corruption has taken over everything.
Aristotle said that because rulers have the power they will be tempted to use it for personal gain. It is important that politicians are not tempted with this power, and to do this they will need integrity.
In the book ‘The Servant of the People’, Muel Kaptein describes that integrity starts with that politicians should know what their position holds, because integrity is related to their position.
It also demands knowledge and compliance, with both these along with the spirit of the written and unwritten rules. Where written rules are the ones which are the written procedures and policies or say rules and regulations.
And unwritten rules are the ones that are inbuilt, the character of the person, his moral (honesty and trustworthiness).
Integrity Tests (psychology) –
The procedure of “integrity tests” or “honesty tests” is done to identify prospective employees who may hide the negative or dishonest aspects of their past, such as criminal records, psychiatric treatment or drug addiction, and many more.
Identifying candidates with low integrity can save the employer from problems that might otherwise arise due to them in the organization. This test makes certain assumptions, specifically.
The person who has low morale is said to have more dishonest behaviour. They try to find reasons to justify or hide such behaviour. Such people have impulsive behaviour.
They tend to think that society should severely punish deviant behaviour (Specifically, tests assume that people who have a history of deviance report within such tests that they support harsher measures applied to the deviance exhibited by other people).
“In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities- integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the rest two will kill you. ”Warren Buffett
The claim that such tests can detect “fake” answers plays a crucial role in detecting people who have low morals.
Ans: A person of integrity lives bound sound principles and motivates through ethical behaviour. Integrity is the most important trait of leadership in our society because regardless of what other beneficial characteristics exist, people will not follow someone unless they have established trust with them.
Ans: Leadership integrity has everything to do with the success of a project. Leaders must always maintain integrity to ensure their actions are always in the best interest of the team.
Ans: Professional integrity is the practice of maintaining appropriate ethical behaviour. It is the practice of showing strong adherence to moral and ethical principles and values such as honesty, honour, dependability, and trustworthiness.
Ans: Integrity means following your moral or ethical convictions and doing the right thing in all circumstances, even if no one is watching you. Having integrity means you are true to yourself and would do nothing that demeans or dishonours you.
Ans: Integrity is the quality that locks in your values and causes you to live consistent with them. Integrity is the foundation of character. A person who has integrity also has an unblemished character in every area of his or her life. One of the most important activities you can engage in is developing your character.
Ans: The attribute of integrity are:
6. Impression management
Read More About Other Soft Skills
- Communication skills
- Conflict resolution
- Work ethics