While you probably hear the word “integrity” on a regular basis, chances are good that you don’t really think about what it means. The dictionary defines integrity as “a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” Essentially, integrity means you do the right thing even if it is not convenient or acknowledged. Chances are good that you see examples of integrity daily. However, the following looks at examples of integrity that are rarely seen.
1. Drivers who rarely, if ever, drive aggressively or blast their horn.
Your driving says a lot about you, whether you realize it or not. This includes how you manage your anger, how you treat strangers, and to what degree of entitlement you suffer from. Driving cooperatively doesn’t mean that a driver simply has nowhere they need to be, it shows they are mindful of others and have integrity. It’s time to set the goal of becoming a more cooperative driver.
2. People who volunteer.
When was the last time you volunteered? There are a few men and women who make volunteering a part of their daily life, but for most of us, this is not the case. Yes, it shows integrity to volunteer from time to time, but volunteering on a routine basis requires a serious sacrifice of time and energy. To those people who do this, you are a true inspiration.
3. Parents who apologize after yelling at or punishing their children too harshly.
Kids, especially smaller ones, are easy targets. For some parents, it can be easy to take out their frustrations on their children. This may include a really harsh punishment or snapping at them. As a mom of 4 boys, I completely understand, but I also realize that when you’ve gone too far, an apology is necessary. It is something your child deserves and it shows integrity.
4. Someone who gives another person the benefit of the doubt in an uncertain situation.
Life is stressful and when we get stressed, most of us tend to get defensive and blame others for any and everything. However, learning to give others the benefit of the doubt can significantly decrease the stress in our lives. Before you rush to judgment when a job is incomplete or when you’ve heard rumors, stop and give someone the benefit of a doubt.
5. Partners that refuse to resort to name calling and other vicious behaviors.
Today, many established and new couples, as well as rich and poor couples and men and women have no problem being downright ugly to each other. At one end, you have the extreme behaviors, such as sexual and physical abusers, while your passive aggressive types are at the other end of the spectrum. However, there are some couples who refuse to stoop to these behaviors. Sure, they have problems from time to time, but they remain civil and kind while working through their issues. The best thing most of us can do is look at these couples who demonstrate such integrity and learn from their behaviors.
6. Bosses who downplay their own accomplishments, while highlighting their staffs’ accomplishments.
Anyone who has any sort of power will attest to the fact that there is somebody waiting in the wings to take it away. However, a boss with integrity doesn’t play into this. Instead, as a natural born leader, they feel no need for excessive power because they know they are good at what they do. To show this, they are quick to congratulate their staff on a job well done and acknowledge their accomplishments.
7. Powerful people who apologize for leaving a captive audience waiting.
This includes everyone from doctors who leave their patients in the waiting room for hours to HR managers who leave interviewees sitting for extended periods of time or even worse, not getting back to them in a timely manner as to whether or not they got the position. Oftentimes, people in power never bother to acknowledge they have made someone wait. As a result, when you find a powerful person who apologizes to someone with less power, they are demonstrating serious integrity.
Here’s the good news involving integrity. While we may not be born with it, we can develop it. Set a goal of showing integrity every day. To do this, consider the above situations, as well as the many others that frequently go unnoticed.