The other day, I was scrolling through the Internet and it seemed like the word of the day was “integrity.” Numerous companies, agencies and consultants were touting their integrity as part of their value to customers and clients. And, while integrity is great, I can’t help but wonder why a company would feel the need to tell people they have integrity.
When you think about it, shouldn’t integrity be a given? Do you want to work with someone who isn’t honest, doesn’t really care about you as a client, or doesn’t meet their commitments? Of course not! We all expect the people we are working with to have integrity, otherwise we wouldn’t work with them.
Merriam-Webster defines integrity as “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.”
From a coaching perspective, to me, integrity isn’t just about moral or artistic values, but also about professional value. Clients expect me to be professional, and that includes: Being trained/qualified as a coach, keeping our conversations confidential, being organized, timely, and helpful, and practicing what I “preach.” And, if I didn’t do those things, not only would I not have the level of integrity I choose to have, I would not be a good coach.
So, how do you know if a business truly has the same level of integrity you expect? You look at how they treat you.
- Do they treat you with respect? Are they considerate of your time, opinions, needs, and ideas?
- Do they meet their commitments? Do they show up on time and prepared for meetings, and deliver results in an appropriate timeframe?
- Are they building and maintaining your trust? Are they operating in compliance of standard business and community practices, and do they truly listen and respond to you and their other clients?
Integrity in business starts from the top down, and should be part of the ingrained company culture and not just words in a slogan. In order to build a business with integrity, every member of your team must apply the same values at all times, and to get to that point requires open communication and discussion on a consistent basis.
This month, spend some time outlining what integrity means to your company, and then focus on those items with your team throughout the year and see how positively business grows.
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
~Alan K. Simpson