Operating with integrity seems like a no-brainer for many of us, whether personally or professionally. Being a person of integrity takes a strong awareness of oneself and frequent reevaluation. Ensuring your business operates with integrity takes the same grit and determination, but the basics are simple. These key thoughts keep our team in the right frame of mind:
Think from a win-win perspective. Ensuring that a project, client, or business move is good for you is only half of the equation. It’s important to make sure that you’re a good fit for the endeavor as well! Don’t take on something that doesn’t agree with you and you won’t have to explain yourself later.
Focus on relationships first. Acting genuinely and with kindness, and connecting with those who are doing the same is important. Strong relationships can form between businesses, clients, projects, and customers. It is important to remember the value of these connections, as they often serve as the foundation for opportunity and growth.
Be honest and transparent in all communication. Speak your true feelings in a way that lets the person on the other end of the relationship know that you are on their side, still their partner, and are invested in what’s best for all stakeholders. Coming to a compromise is easier when all parties want a fair solution!
Positive interactions matter. Building on honest communication, the need to handle disagreements in the business setting is inevitable. An important part of acting with integrity is being clear that your best intentions are in place no matter the disagreement. Give partners and clients the benefit of the doubt that they have good intentions as well. We can all unite under common goals and build into one another positively.
Raise one another up. Going beyond kind words and gestures, know the strengths of those around you, and build into them! This takes time, great listening skills, and the ability to observe in an objective way. On the same hand, it’s important to understand where weaknesses lie in yourself and others and to seek growth. This may include introducing new people into the project or being willing to learn new skills to get the job done. While weaknesses can be frustrating, we show integrity by refusing to tear down someone else, neither internally nor externally.
Author C.S. Lewis described integrity very simply as doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. In business, we do what is right, regardless of professional gain or increased profits. While those important aspects will play into your decisions, your guiding light is doing what is best for all involved.
Choosing to have integrity over anything else is not always easy, but we can all keep on pushing forward to make the world a better place!