When you meet a person who has exceptional integrity, you know that there is just something different about them that might feel like an attracting force. There’s no real secret to being a person of integrity, and becoming that type of charismatic, honest person is something that everyone should try to accomplish for living a life of authenticity.
Personal integrity is being true to who you are, personally, in spite of who you are with at the time, since your relationship should only define a part of who you are. Integrity is a way of being honest in your actions and it is what makes you a trustworthy romantic partner, business partner, and member of society.
People with integrity are people whose words and actions match and often inspire us to want to be like them. These are the role models of our society. They show up and do what needs to be done. People with integrity are problem solvers and movers and shakers.
In this article, we will explore the 5 things that people with integrity do differently and how we can adopt their best habits for ourselves.
5 Things People With Integrity Do Differently
1. Do what you say you will do
Have you ever failed to come through for someone who you made a promise to? People with integrity inspire us because they are consistent with the fact that their word is their bond. They act differently by committing to keep promises that they have given. If you can say the same thing about yourself, then that makes you a person with integrity that acts differently than those who do not.
2. Stand up for what is right
Bullies are not going to like what a person with integrity has to say. The same goes for anyone who is using belittling language or name-calling. People with integrity sick up for the little guy when the little guy is getting picked on.
They have an innate sense of right and wrong and seek to balance the scales of justice. When someone with power is abusing their power, people with integrity are there to defend the powerless. Abuse of power is an injustice. People with integrity see others being treated as ‘less than’ and come to their defense.
3. Look in the mirror and commit to positive change
Part of a healthy level of self-evaluation is looking at whether or not we hold ourselves accountable to the same standards that we hold others to. We cannot be justified in pointing fingers at others when we haven’t cleaned up our own houses first.
You may have heard the saying that when you point one finger, there are three pointing back at you. Judging others’ faults is an easy trap to fall into, but instead of putting others down, people with integrity lift others up by owning up to their own flaws.
None of us is perfect and embracing those parts of you that you want to change is something that people with integrity are doing differently. Not only do people with integrity acknowledge their flaws, they seek to improve themselves in the areas that need changing.
4. Take ownership for solving problems, even when the fault lies elsewhere
People with integrity are different in that they assume the role of leader when no one else will. Maybe it wasn’t your fault that someone left trash in the hallway, but people with integrity see that there is a problem and take ownership of it anyway. Another thing that people with integrity do differently is that they are also more likely to be volunteers or people who champion a cause for the little guy.
One model of management theory in the workplace is that of Servant Leadership, as described first by Robert Greenleaf.
Greenleaf says that these are the traits of a servant leader:
9 commitment to the growth of people; and
10 building community.
5. Act sooner rather than later
People with integrity don’t wait to act in case someone else jumps in first to save a drowning person; they are the ones who jump first and come to the aid of their fellow man and woman as often as possible.
In a journal article on personal accountability in the workplace, former NASA mechanical engineer Roger M. Boisjoly says, ‘If good and knowledgeable people observe wrongdoing and simply turn away to protect their own self interests without attempting to correct the wrongdoing, they become part of the problem.’
Boisjoly spoke up a year prior to the disastrous Space Shuttle Challenger mission in 1986 and NASA’s fatal decision to launch in spite of known problems for the operating temperatures of the O-rings. This is one example of how failing to act quickly is one thing that people with integrity do differently; acting sooner rather than later can impact the lives of many people.