Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Self-esteem Series (12 of 13) “The Practice of Authenticity”


Principle #8  The Practice of Authenticity


“Be the person you want to become”

Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs, AND behavior.  When my behavior is congruent with my professed values, when my ideals and practice match, I have integrity.

This is walking the talk.  A lot of us know what we need to do, but we don’t do it. When I behave in ways that conflict with my values and beliefs, I lose face in my own eyes – I betray myself.  When I integrate my beliefs and values with my behavior I reaffirm my worth and honor myself.

If I want to become an honest person – just be honest today

If I want to become a loving person – just be loving today

If I want to become a compassionate, caring person – just be compassionate and caring today

Principles

1) Trust – a gift earned by one but shared by two.  The operative word here is “gift.”  Trust can only be given by a person when they feel safe and secure enough to give it.  It is an honor bestowed upon one by another.  When trust is betrayed, it is broken.  One can work very hard to earn it back; but it can only be given when the betrayed is willing to give it.  When one understands this they begin to realize how precious a thing trust is.

2) Integrity – behavior congruent with professed values, beliefs, morals, and principles.  Everybody talks a good talk.

But not everyone walks their talk.  If a person says what he means and means what he says, comes from a position of love, honors himself, and treats everyone else with respect and dignity, people feel safe and secure and are drawn to him.  (Old saying:  “You are honorable when you honor others.”)

3) Honesty – Rigorous honesty builds Trust Value more than anything else.  You don’t have to always be right; you just have to admit it when you’re wrong.  No body is perfect and here’s the big secret – it’s ok!  This makes you human; this makes you real.  When one is secure enough to be totally honest with self and others, he becomes free to be himself.

“Yes, I screwed up.  I dropped the ball on this one!”

It’s amazing the effect a statement like this has on “Trust Value.”  Everybody screws up but no one is honest enough to admit it (or worse, they try to pawn it off as someone else’s mistake).  If I can trust enough to admit when you’re wrong, then I can trust you my personal issues.

4) Openness – the strength of vulnerability.   This is the basis of true intimacy – I open my world up to you and you open your world up to me.  This allows honesty in relationships.  It also develops trust and security in the other person.

Openness also means the ability to look at oneself honestly and be willing to consider new thoughts, ideas, and concepts.  When we are close-minded we stagnate, wallowing in our own ignorance and arrogance.  This applies to managers as much as it does to employees.

5) Humility – to view oneself as human – open to critique. Understanding we are all unique and yet same.  I am no better than anyone else; but I am also no worse than anyone else.  We are same – souls trying to find our own way through life the best we can.  Many have skills and talents I don’t; but I have skills and talents they don’t.  Each use what they possess to achieve happiness.

One role of a manager from the heart is to assist employees in discovering unrealized talents and skills and explore opportunities with them.

6)  Empathy – genuine concern, understanding and respect of another’s feelings and motivations.  To understand that another’s feelings are “real” irrespective of whether right or wrong, enables one to see the world through their eyes.  If I can see the world through their eyes, I have a better understanding of what drives them, and thus, how to assist them.

7)  Willingness – to change (self-defeating behaviors)  Embracing change is essential for growth.  Growth, of course, is all about change.  Change is uncomfortable and sometimes even frightening.  Resistance to change, for whatever reason, stifles growth.  There’s an old saying:  “People will only change when it becomes too painful not too.”

But what if you embraced change?  What if you saw change as an adventure instead of a threat?  Imagine the possibilities.

First, understand what “willingness” is.  You don’t have to want to.  You don’t have to like to.  You just have to be willing to.

I love ice cream.  But thanks to the military, I hate standing in lines.  Now, when I go to the supermarket to get my ice cream and there are long lines, I have a choice to make.  I don’t necessarily want to stand in line, I don’t particularly like standing in line, but I am willing to stand in line because there’s a “pay-off” at the end.

Not all issues of integrity are large.  Most of them are small (receiving too much change from a cashier), but betraying our beliefs is betraying our beliefs, and eventually, all the small ones will mount up (you could carry a pocket full of straw around all day and not even notice it, but keep adding straw and the eventually end up with a bail of hay).

If we see the standards we have set for ourselves are causing us or someone else pain, then it’s time to reevaluate our standards.

For “The Practice of Personal Integrity,” I recommend the tool:  Walking the Talk

NOTE: Manager Development Services’ Blog is intended to educate and give “food for thought” that will enhance a person’s personal and professional lives.  You can find our Self-esteem Series in either our text or our e-learning course titled, “Becoming Master of Your Destiny.”

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May 5, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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