Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Signaling fairness and integrity, part of New Manager Fundamentals.
In a professional context, integrity is the quality of having and using, clear and meaningful ethical standards. Being fair at work is one general way to demonstrate your integrity. However, it is important to be very clear about what we mean by the word fair. Being fair refers to equal opportunity, not equal distribution of outcomes and resources. Stated differently, being fair means you treat people the same by creating a positive and transparent workplace, but you also treat them differently based on their performance and their needs.
Integrity and fairness matter, because they impact trust; one of the key qualities present in higher performing teams is trust. It's one of the intangible assets that helps move a team past mere compliance towards deep commitment, commitment to each other and to the work. Because trust is so important, always remember these two things. First, trust takes a lot of time to build, but can be lost in an instant. Protect it, like the important asset it is. Second, actions speak louder than words.
You don't have to tell people you are trustworthy when you spend your time showing behaviors that demonstrate trustworthiness. Remember to live by the old saying, walk the talk. When you espouse certain standards and expectations, you build trust by doing what you say. Speaking of behaviors, there are several behaviors at work that are particularly influential in determining whether or not people view you as a person of integrity. For example, openly address integrity as a core part of your team. This requires you to be consistent and clear about your ethical standards and your expectations of the team.
You can show the team that you mean it by challenging any issue or decision that encourages dishonesty or rewards unethical behavior. One of the best ways to demonstrate integrity is to share credit widely. Anytime you and the team pass a particular milestone, reach a big goal, or receive recognition, don't steal the spotlight for yourself. Be sure to acknowledge everyone's contributions and make the team feel included in the win. It's also important to understand when to share the pain. When I say pain, I'm referring to challenges and difficulties that are not avoidable.
These might include layoffs, lack of pay raises, undesirable travel, or other types of challenges. The rule here is always the same, to the extent possible, you share in the burden you are asking the team to undertake. For example, if they will not receive any raises this year, it would not be wise for you to accept a raise this year either. Another great way to demonstrate integrity is to make decisions based on the merits and not based on any other non-meritorious standard. In particular, be sure to steer clear of favoritism, which is a way of making decisions in a manner that benefits only your favorite people at work.
Assign work based on the skills people have, not simply on how much you like them. One final great way to demonstrate integrity is to be willing to get your hands dirty. Whenever you ask the team to achieve a very difficult standard or to engage abnormal work, such as working on a weekend, you should be the first to sign up and participate arm-in-arm with your team. To build a track record of success as a leader, few things are as vital as strong integrity. When the team trusts you, they'll listen better and they'll perform at a higher level.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Clarifying performance expectations
- Feeding your learning curve
- Building rapport with your team
- Explaining your decision-making style
- Increasing your authenticity
- Communicating proactively
- Knowing when to have a meeting and who should attend
- Coping successfully with your transition<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.