Leadership

How do you develop your integrity or how to act ethically?

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What is This is about knowing your values and living in alignment with them. It’s the old adage of walking your talk. Living in integrity is a form of self-control. If you step away from your values when the going gets tough, then you must not be very committed to them. We already know that emotional intelligence is a key predictor of all kinds of measures of success.

So, how do you develop your integrity? Well, the first step is to know your core values. Be clear about what you stand for. Think about your core values, you may have several but, which are your most important? These should play a large role in guiding your daily words and actions. They should also be deeply connected to your passion. Next, share your values with others. When others know your values, they have a clear way to measure your integrity. They don’t have to agree with your values, or even like them, to see you as a person with integrity.

But they do have to see you acting in alignment with what you say you value. Integrity is how you earn the trust and respect of others. It’s literally the foundation upon which everything else is built. If it’s shaky, everything else will come tumbling down. This is because building trust is an ongoing process. We first earn trust by walking our talk. And then we maintain it by continuing the walk. When we think of people, or even companies, that have lost our trust, it’s because they violated their own values. They are no longer in integrity. Third, you commit to living your values every day. This is important.

Your core values should not be something you turn on and off at work or at home. They should be a consistent theme in your life, no matter what you’re doing and who you’re with. If you say you value something, then integrity means that you model that behavior and commitment in your own life. This is certainly true for your words and actions. But it may also be how and when you influence others. For example, let’s say you have a strong value for fairness or equality. This would certainly mean that your own behavior would model treating others with fairness and equality. It also means that you would work to create environments that are fair and equal, perhaps through policies in your workplace or rules in your home.

You might also volunteer your time with organizations that promote fairness and equality or donate to related causes. Your voting and shopping behavior are another way you could model your values by contributing to others who stand for the same value. Ethics are another aspect of integrity. How they differ is that each culture or society has its own laws and norms that determine what is considered ethical behavior within that context. Acting ethically is about being in alignment with the agreed upon standards of that community.