Wikipedia defines integrity as “the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions.”
In the workplace, we find ourselves among co-workers who root from diverse backgrounds, possess divergent perspectives, and have experienced a myriad of dramatic life stories. We experience these people through the darkest and brightest seasons of their lives, and often we are exposed to more details than their families and friends simply due to the number of hours we spend together at work.
Most of us are committed to demonstrating integrity with those we love; however, the workplace is unique. Yet, high integrity and character do not discriminate. We cannot maintain a life of integrity if we make exceptions. How conscious are you about your commitment to preserving trustworthiness with your peers? Do you protect their privacy? Or do you engage in gossip about or with your peers? Do you share the details of their darkest seasons with others?
Degrees of personal separation can make it easier to loosen our lips and rationalize gossip. And yet, we’ve probably all learned the hard way that betraying the trust of another does the most harm to us. Honoring someone else regardless of the type of relationship has everything to do with preserving our own integrity.
I love the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of his basic tenets for wise living is to be impeccable with our word. From the cover of his book, “Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” Imagine a workplace, or planet for that matter, where everyone chose to live this way. It is a choice, and we can choose for ourselves in every moment. Choose Well!