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Working with Integrity

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

As people grapple with the reality of getting the world back to normality, I am noticing a lot of clients are wrestling with questions of integrity. People want to make sure they're doing the right thing, even when they are making tough decisions. Suddenly questions like 'am I a bad person?' are coming up in a session as people navigate change programmes which are seeking to stabilise an organisation in a changing landscape.

Working with integrity becomes even more important when dealing with difficult situations. You are your own judge, jury and executioner and you will know deep down if your reason for doing something is motivated from a place of sincerity or self interest. Working towards decisions which you feel are genuinely for the greater good will be seen in the longer term. Opportunism and acts of self-interest may see immediate returns, but at what longer term cost?

Making the right decision, isn't always the easy or popular decision and being supported to make good decisions when the stakes are high is time well spent. By checking in on the integrity and motivations of a decision you will gain the confidence to deliver difficult messages with compassion and dignity.

So, how can we work with integrity each day?

  • Credit where credit is due. Make sure that people are recognised for the contributions they make to collective success.

  • Take responsibility for your actions. Hold your hands up when a mistake has been made and own it. We're all human, none of us are perfect and pretending that anything else is true is a recipe for disappointment.

  • Do what you say you're going to do. If you've made a promise to someone, do your very best to keep it. If it feels like things may be going off track, don't stick your head in the sand, let those who will be affected know as soon as you can.

  • Support first approach. When something is not going to plan, work out how you can help those involved first. What resources, skills or guidance does the person need to get things right?

  • When you're supporting someone to get better, try to catch them 'getting it right' and celebrate it! We're all significantly more motivated by positive encouragement.

  • Treat everyone with respect. Even when you believe you've reached the end of the road with someone, you can still part ways on good terms.

  • Work on your unconscious bias. Increasing your awareness of the assumptions and shortcuts you make in your thinking can help you to make sure you don't accidentally choose favourites or limit the potential of someone by having low expectations.

  • Invite critique. Having diverse opinions around you helps you to make good decisions. McKinsey has even quantified the value of diversity. If you're in the top 25th percentile for gender diversity for example, you're 21% more likely to experience above average profits.

  • Be as honest as it is possible to be. We all know there are times when things need to be confidential, but working with integrity is very much about being honest. If you can't tell someone something, then help them to understand why.

Being a leader or manager is incredibly difficult and when you start to doubt yourself, you can lose confidence and when you lose confidence, so do others around you and it can make your job even harder. Working with integrity is the keel to your ship on stormy waters.

If you're experiencing change and you want to create a space to reflect on the decisions you're making right now, then feel free to get in touch. I offer a wide range of coaching programmes for professionals and if you'd like to understand a little bit more about what coaching is, or how I coach, then I offer a free discovery conversation to all those who would like to know more!

As always... Thanks for reading!

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