Recently in my personal life I’ve experienced people that do not maintain high ethical values. Being frustrated with the lack of reliability I began donating to the organization Because I Said I Would. I noticed they have work environments where integrity is not a priority. In one instance I was sent pictures on almost a daily basis of a guy sleeping on the job. In another instance the management team would take visitors to strip clubs. I believe you become like the people you hang out with. I stopped hanging out with them.
Unfortunately, lying and cheating are a pretty common practice. This TedTalk can teach you how to spot a liar and this one shows how people convince themselves a little cheating is ok. Have you ever watched shows like Seinfeld or Breaking Bad? In both these shows there is cheating, lying, deception and poor moral behavior. I love Seinfeld yet the behavior in the show is disheartening when you look at it from this point of view. You have to wonder if this is what we all watch won’t our behavior degenerate too?
At work we utilize contracts, schedule, written minutes and similar tools to remember and to hold people accountable. Unfortunately, we have had clients that repeatedly tell stories when they don’t do what they say they are going to do or meet their dates. We hear of hurricanes, deaths in the family, sickness and the like so often with one client that we have lost trust.
A lack of integrity is caused by a variety of things. The fear of not being liked. The fear of being vulnerable. A lack of confidence. A lack of communication skills. How you were raised. How you think. Wanting to be in control. Not wanting to say “no” in order to please someone. What else do you think causes it?
How to improve your honesty and integrity:
- Surround yourself with people of your same values.
- Write down your values and live them.
- Be aware of low integrity situations hidden in media and your daily life.
- Improve your self-awareness.
- Write down your agreements and keep them.
- Be vulnerable.
- Improve your self-worth and confidence.
- Improve your communication skills and speak with heart.
- Think about how you can be kind and compassionate.
We are all human. We will lie. Sometimes it is to be kind which is a good trait. If you know your values and live them you will live a better life and be able to sleep at night. I like this line out of one of my favorite poems. “I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” How do you feel about yourself when you are alone?
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
—C. S. Lewis