Integrity, according to Webster, is the quality of being honest and fair. While not many words, they are words of great depth. Integrity is a state of being, driving motivation of behaviors. Being honest and fair is made up of lots of small actions, many perceptions, and consistency.
If you ask people (not the dictionary), integrity is made up of many characteristics.
Respect is one characteristic people apply to integrity. Respect is part of the quality of being fair. You do not have integrity if you are not respected. You do not believe someone has integrity if you do not respect them.
- Treat others respectfully, even if you don’t feel like it. Listening to others, speaking without being condescending, body language — these and many more are actions you control that make people feel you are treating them respectfully. People with integrity treat everyone respectfully.
- Earn respect by earning trust. Ask yourself why you trust people, and then act that way to others. Being dependable and part of the team ensures trust is built and thus respect is built. Trust does not mean people like you or always agree with you. Trust means you are consistent. People do not respect those they do not trust.
- Look in the mirror. Hold yourself accountable to a high standard of honesty and fairness. People who are respectful of others respect themselves.
This has been one of the keys to my success and I often wonder why more people don’t get it. It has always seemed very simple to me.