Three Ways Professionals Can Improve Integrity -- And Reap The Reward
I once saw a t-shirt covered in Dr. Suess illustrations with text that read, “Trust me—I’m a doctor!”
We might trust Dr. Suess to provide humorous rhymes and colorful characters through a storybook, but I doubt we’d look to The Cat in the Hat for medical advice.
Silly as that concept may be, common sense informs me that someone without the right credentials and experience simply won’t have the knowledge to properly reset a broken bone. I wouldn’t trust them to put a cast on me because they don’t possess the credibility.
In professional settings, gaining trust requires establishing credibility in your business and life. Your reliability matters, but the authority behind your knowledge and words open another facet into your trustworthiness.
Growing as a leader requires you to build trustworthiness. However, your growth also depends on your own ability to trust others... and yourself.
Trust needs to be deep and wide. It should exist across the board, personally and organizationally. Without trust, you won’t see consistent results.
Former chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Jim Burke, said, “Trust is absolutely key to long-term success.”
Professionals understand that the presence or absence of trust makes or breaks success. Some go so far as to say your organization can only move at the speed of trust. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a key concept in The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey.
If you want to belong to a community of professionals who prioritize building and maintaining integrity across all aspects of life, consider joining a mastermind group. Visit our website to find out more or apply online to join one of our mastermind groups.
Building Trust With Yourself Is More Foundational Than You Think
Trust among others takes time to build, but it’s even harder to rebuild. Credibility requires integrity. Your reputation carries significant weight, and a damaged reputation takes a long time to repair—if it ever fully mends.
However, regaining trust in yourself might be the hardest hurdle to cross, especially when you have long-established habits.
Remember that your ability to trust yourself affects your integrity. It’s the backbone of your motives, and it sets up your ability to follow through with what you say you will do.
Stephen M. R. Covey, the author of The Speed of Trust, tells the story of an exhausting period of his life where he became too tired to get up when his early alarm woke him up. He set his alarm every night, knowing all along that he would slap the snooze button when the time came, and keep sleeping.
He didn’t even trust himself to stick to his own boundaries.
Covey eventually realized that an early wake-up was unrealistic. He had to change his method and think about the time he would actually get up.
Why do you think keeping commitments we make to ourselves is so hard? I think that resistance and obstacles conveniently present themselves whenever we’re onto something good!
To establish trust in every facet of your life, you have to address self-trust first. Just like you can’t get a speck out of another person’s eye without first removing the log from your own, you can’t solve an issue if you don’t acknowledge its existence in your own life.
The professionals I talk to always want to create a positive ripple effect in their lives and business. But we have to remember that when we create ripples, the first waves surround us before reaching anyone else.
I want to offer three questions for you to ask as you think about whether you have a healthy amount of self trust.
3 Questions To Consider About Self Trust
Contemplate the answers to the following questions to expand your self-awareness. Consider journaling your answers to look back on later.
1. Do you follow through on commitments you make to yourself?
Do you regularly dismiss your own goals? Take, for instance, the Stephen M. R. Covey example. Do you get up when your alarm rings, or do you hit the snooze button? Notice places where you make plans or intend to break habits, but in the moment you think, “It’s not that big of a deal if I don’t do it this way, today.” Set up accountability for these areas, pronto. This will greatly increase your self-trust and confidence as you establish credibility with others.
2. Do you set realistic expectations for yourself?
Part of our credibility consists of our abilities. Take note of where your abilities fall short and ask for help. This goes for both personal expectations and professional work. There’s no shame in admitting you need help, and you may find that someone else can fill the gap much better than you. Don’t overextend yourself when you can draw others in to add value to the team!
If you know you won’t be able to follow through on a goal, reconsider it well before the deadline. It’s okay to pivot into something more realistically achievable. Adjust your expectations based on the truth of a situation at the moment, not what you wish it would be.
3. Do you have consistency in your healthy habits?
Can you stick to regular routines? Or do you struggle to maintain practices you attempt to set up for yourself?
Think about how you might accomplish these smaller, regular goals. Phone reminders work well, but giving someone permission to challenge you about your consistency will give you even more of a leg up.
Once you start to recognize where you lack self trust, you’ll see where it affects your relationships, work, and otherwise. Then you can take the first steps to improve.
If you want a secret weapon to growing in self trust, join a like-minded group of professionals.