Integrity in the Workplace: A Personal Anecdote About Being Who We Are

Today, we’re going to talk about integrity in the workplace.

What do we mean by integrity? When there is alignment between your interior and your exterior.

Let’s begin with a series of questions:

 

How do you show up in each domain of your life?

Do you show up differently at work than you do with family, or with friends?

How much of a difference is there?

If there is a difference, a significant difference, then the next question is:

Are you being authentic? Is this way of showing up sustainable in the long run for your psychological and emotional health?

Are you truly able to compartmentalize and keep work and life separate from each other?

To what degree are you out of integrity, at home or in the workplace?

 

How I Learned The Importance of Work / Life Integrity

 

Near the end of my time at the Walt Disney company, there was a group – the corporate strategic planning department – that worked with all the different businesses.

And I guess I’m being generous when I say this group was “working with” all the different businesses, because the reality was they had sort of an unspoken mantra, which to me felt like: “We’re better than you. We’re smarter than you. Give us the information and get out of the way.”

Then, if I, or whoever else they were dealing with, wouldn’t give the requested information, some of these folks would lie, be deceitful, and try to extract the information they wanted.

Things got to a point where I felt like I was constantly under attack.

Therefore I made a conscious decision (and it might even have been a subconscious decision) that to survive in that environment, I had to be a certain way.  And so I showed up at work in a way that was out of integrity with my own values and my own code of conduct.

And then I would go home at night after a day of being defensive, protective, and all those different things I felt I had to be at work, and I couldn’t fully turn off those behaviors. I wasn’t completely able to compartmentalize them.

 

Choosing Integrity

 

When that negative workplace persona began coming home with me, I really didn’t like how I was a little more short tempered, a little more closed off, a little less authentic with my family.

Perhaps it was only a little bit, but I like to feel connected with my family, and this felt like I was forming a chasm. I just wasn’t comfortable with the way I was.

My experience is that when I am out of integrity, I have tension, and that takes energy away from my life.

When I am authentic in my workplace and home environments, being who I am and letting that be seen by others, then I have my integrity. This infuses my life with energy – energy that I can then invest into each of my relationships – in both the workplace and at home. It contributes to a virtuous cycle of deepening trust, honesty, and shared commitment.

 

Reflect on Integrity

 

Take 5 minutes today and reflect on the integrity in your life.

 

  • How much to do you feel you are authentic in the workplace, and among your peers?
  • How much do you feel inclined to speak up and share your thoughts?
  • What degree of trust do you experience with your boss(es) and co-workers?
  • How real and authentic do you feel at home?
  • How well do you feel you know yourself?

 

Then, consider the following:

 

What sorts of things can you do in your off time to feel more comfortable being who you are?

What sorts of conversations do you need to have either at work or at home, and with whom?

What would you like to express? What would you like to know from someone else?

 

Conclusion

 

We hope you have enjoyed the video and this article. Wishing you the best of luck on your journey of showing up in your whole life with integrity and embodying your authentic leader everywhere you go.

 

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