The practice of being tenaciously honest and living out strong personal values
WHAT IS IT?
A person of integrity lives by a code of ethics and high moral standards that others respect and admire. They always tell the truth.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
Friends, clients, and colleagues all want to deal with people who have integrity. If we withhold or compromise the truth, people will quickly learn that we cannot be trusted. Similarly, if we over-inflate the likelihood of particular outcomes, our strengths, or our past successes, people will eventually discount our abilities.
- Define Your Core Values
First, identify your three most important virtues. Write them down. These can be what you strive to live by, or what you believe are most imperative for a fair, honest and successful legal practice. Those lists may even be identical. One of the best ways to build integrity is to define the kind of person you want to be and the kind of firm you want to cultivate. How do we want to be known by others? Evaluate your performance regularly to determine if those values are evident in your life. Ask other if they see these values lived out on a consistent basis.
- Always Tell the Truth
Second, make an unwavering commitment to telling the truth – always. Be honest about potential hurdles you envision as well as realistic with the case outcome and timeframe. We have to resist the urge to cover up our mistakes or to make ourselves look better than we really are. Instead, we should candidly acknowledge our mistakes and weaknesses and learn from them. Doing so also helps us to err on the side of humility rather than grandiosity. Let others brag on us. We don’t need to do it ourselves.
- Don’t Criticize Others
Finally, we need to be careful not to criticize others or make them look bad in order to elevate our own status. Be honest about other people. Strive to think the best of others and give them the benefit of the doubt. Being honest with and about ourselves and other people is at the heart of integrity.