The Importance of Integrity in Building Relationships

It takes time and effort to build successful and positive relationships with other people. To build a successful relationship, we must be able to communicate and listen effectively. We must respect the ideas and views of other people. Sometimes we must put the needs of others before our own needs. All these things and more go into building successful relationships, but perhaps no factor is more vital to strong, lasting relationships than integrity. Integrity is the bedrock foundation upon which all successful relationships are built.

Trust and respect are crucial factors in any relationship

The foundation of trust and respect is integrity. If that foundation of integrity is flawed or weak, it is impossible to build the necessary trust required to maintain successful, positive relationships.

This is true in business and personal relationships

A businessperson seeking to climb the success ladder of an organization can overcome many obstacles, including his/her own mistakes and miscalculations. But the individual who compromises their integrity and betrays other’s trust will advance to the top of any organization.

Here are some concepts that will help you build stronger relationships by being a person of integrity:

Understanding Integrity is about Doing the Little Things Right: It is said that those who cannot be trusted at all times, cannot truly be trusted at any time. Building trust with others requires time and patience, yet one betrayal, no matter how large or small, can destroy that trust forever.

The theft of one dollar is still a theft. The person of integrity does not compromise his principles because the stakes are small. A small lie is still a lie.

Make a Commitment to Honest and Reliability: Being a person of integrity requires a conscious decision. Don’t wait until you are facing a crisis to decide how you will react. Make the decision now to be an honest and reliable person. Make the decision that you do not have a price – you will not sell your integrity for money, fame, power, or any anything else no matter what. This is very important especially in a business partnership where you need to trust and be trusted by your associates from the first moments of starting a company.

Put “Doing the Right Thing” Ahead of Your Personal Agenda/Goals: The person of integrity will make difficult decisions even if there is a personal cost attached to them.

Be the Same Person in Private as You are in Public: It is often said that the measure of a person’s character is what he/she does when no one is watching. Character is who we are at all times.

Be Accountable for Your Actions and Behavior at All Times: Accept credit for your successes gracefully, but more importantly, accept responsibility for your mistakes and wrongdoings without being forced to do so.

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Do Not Allow Circumstances to Alter Your Moral Compass: Develop an unchanging standard for moral decision-making, regardless of circumstance. Integrity is not dependent or determined by circumstances. Right is right regardless of the circumstance.

Treat All People With Respect Even if You Have Nothing to Gain: Do not treat those who cannot “do anything” for you less well than those who can help you achieve your goals.

Talk to People, Not About Them: If you have problems or issues with another person, discuss the issue up with them directly. Don’t gossip, and don’t spread poison.

Do What You Must Do, Even When You Do Not Want to Do Them: We all face unpleasant tasks. Get them out of the way. Zig-Ziglar said “When you do the things you have to do when you have to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” Performing unpleasant tasks without complaint shows the people around you that you are not just there for the good times.

Integrity is a Friend to All

Your integrity is your most trusted friend. It keeps your priorities straight, and helps you stay on the right path. It allows you to accept unjust criticism without lashing out, and it allows you to learn from valid and grow from valid criticism. Integrity prevents you from succumbing to convenience and taking shortcuts.

Integrity is also a friend to those with whom you maintain relationships. Your friends and colleagues do not have to worry about your motives. They know who you are and what you stand for. They know they can trust you, even when they are not present.

By being a person of integrity you lay a foundation which will allow you to build successful relationships.