Committed to Integrity since 1995

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.

In ethics, integrity is regarded by many people as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions. Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy, in that judging with the standards of integrity involves regarding internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding within themselves apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.

Integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and predictably consistent commitment to honor moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles.

Developing personal integrity requires examining your beliefs and value system, and taking conscious steps to behave in ways that are consistent with your personal moral code.

  1. Identify aspects of your behavior that require change. Reflect on your interactions with coworkers, at home and in social situations to determine specific areas in need of improvement. For example, if you are late for work and feel guilty about creating excuses for this behavior, this may be an opportunity to develop greater personal integrity.
  2. Determine your reasons for not behaving with greater personal integrity. For example, you may be pushing unpleasant work tasks on to coworkers instead of being honest with your Supervisor about your inability to do the work. You may be afaid to admit to yourself or to your boss that you do not have the right skills or that the position is not the right fit for you.
  3. Face the obstacles that weaken you to excuse yourself, lie or violate your moral code. Get involved in finding a more suitable use of you talents, facing your fears about how others may perceive you and/or seeking knowledge or counseling to address personal challenges and insecurities.
  4. Build relationships at home and work through greater truthfulness, being candid. For example, if managing a team of employees, be honest and direct with each individual about your expectations and employee performance. Avoid backbiting or gossiping. Part of developing personal integrity is gauging when and how to deliver the truth. Be careful not to confuse truthfulness with anger-driven and brutally honest confrontation.
  5. Make a list of tasks and behaviors in which you will become more trustworthy. The list might range from basic tasks, such as remembering to take out the trash as promised, to repaying large or small sums of money in a timely manner.
  6. Respect the property of others. Consider any complaints you may have had or have received about using another person’s belongings, parking in someone else’s parking spot or littering on another person’s property. Make a concerted effort to respect other people’s belongings.
  7. Listen to and respect the opinions and decisions of others. Part of possessing personal integrity is protecting the human rights of others. Respecting diverse thoughts and decisions is a sign of open-mindedness and integrity.
  8. Do more than you expect others to do. If you are in a position to contribute to the development of others or help them, to do something they cannot reasonable accomplish on their own, make an effort to assist them.
  9. Expect a trial and error process that requires persistent effort. Assess your progress, as success and integrity are not destinations, but making some progress: going forward. Expect yourself to learn and strive daily toward your goals, always making progress.
  10. Enlist the help of others, as mentors. The smiles and advice of colleagues, relatives and good friends, who know you well and have your best interest at heart, can assist your progress by providing objective feedback on a daily basis about the personal changes you are making.
  11. Develop your accountability. Learn to admit when you’ve made a mistake and apologize for it. If you were at least partly to blame for a bad situation, own up to your part in it instead of blaming others. If you admit that you’ve done something wrong, it’s easier to be more honest and to avoid the same mistake in the future.
  12. Grow to be more independent, and rise out of rough times. Not withering away, not unnecessarily depending on others, which would logically increase hopelessness and lower pay. Failing to learn, to work, to beat bad odds -- to be independent, suffocates the germ of virtue (integrity), and makes tools and designs for those who are ambitious for unearned goods and ill gained fame, paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson.

An organization’s success depends on the integrity of its employees. Integrity is an internal system of principles which guides our behavior. Integrity is a choice rather than an obligation. Even though influenced by upbringing and exposure, integrity cannot be forced by outside sources. Integrity conveys a sense of wholeness and strength. When we are acting with integrity we do what is right – even when no one is watching.

People of integrity are guided by a set of core principles that empowers them to behave consistently to high standards. The core principles of integrity are virtues, such as: compassion, dependability, generosity, honesty, kindness, loyalty, maturity, objectivity, respect, trust and wisdom. Virtues are the valuable personal and professional assets employees develop and bring to work each day.

The sum of all virtues equals integrity.

There is a dynamic relationship between integrity and ethics, where each strengthens, or reinforces, the other. Personal integrity is the foundation for ethics – good business ethics encourages integrity. A person who has worked hard to develop a high standard of integrity will likely transfer these principles to their professional life. Possessing a high degree of integrity, a person’s words and deeds will be in alignment with the ethical standards of the organization.

The right thing to do is not always the easy thing.

It can be challenging for organizations to establish and then comply with their own ethical standards. Whether ethics are defined or not, employees at all levels experience pressures to act against ethical standards and counter to their own integrity. Some say one thing and then, in the heat of battle, do another. It takes awareness and courage to act in that moment; to hold out for a choice that is in alignment with the stated ethics of the organization and the integrity of those involved.

Just as there are risk factors for one’s health, there are factors that discourage or encourage integrity. A person lacking self-esteem, friendships and financial stability has a higher than normal likelihood of acting without integrity. A person with high self-esteem, a strong support system and a balanced life will most likely act with integrity.

Our integrity is always being tested. If we have the courage to ask the right question, we will often know the right answer. Following are some sample questions to guide a person in the right direction:

  • Do I believe this is the right course of action?
  • Am I being just, fair and considerate?
  • Would I want others to act the same way?
  • Is there someone I could talk to who would help me enlarge my perspective?
  • Is this the right Time, Intention, Person, Place and Style? (T.I.P.P.S.)
  • Could I make an adjustment that would prevent or alleviate harm?
  • How will I feel about myself afterwards?

Signs of Integrity

  • Open to feedback
  • Accepts personal responsibility
  • Balances one’s needs with the needs of others
  • Practices understanding and compassion
  • Seeks the advice of Others
  • Respectful of views that are different
  • Acts with integrity even when it is inconvenient
  • Keeps agreements
  • Knows the difference between humor and hostility