The practice of being tenaciously honest, guided by strong personal values
What is it?
Integrity is the regular practice of always telling the truth. A person of integrity lives by a code of ethics and high moral standards that others respect and admire.
Why is it important?
Employers, colleagues, and patients all want to engage with people who have integrity. If we withhold or compromise the truth, people will quickly learn that we cannot be trusted. In addition, if we overinflate our strengths or successes, people will eventually discount our abilities. In an environment where physicians often need to rely on other professionals to effectively complete their job, it is important to have a foundation of ethical practices, transparency, respect, and honesty.
Define Your Core Values
One of the best ways to build integrity is first to define the kind of person we want to be. How do we want to be known by others? We should be able to identify three core values that we wish to live out consistently. What are your three most important virtues? Write them down. Evaluate your performance regularly to determine if those values are evident in your life. Ask others if they see these values lived out on a consistent basis.
Always Tell the Truth
Another tip is to make an unwavering commitment to telling the truth. We have to resist the urge to cover up our mistakes or to make ourselves look better than we really are. Instead, we should acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them. We should 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. Instead, we should think the best of others and give them the benefit of the doubt. Being honest with ourselves, being honest with others, and being honest about others are all at the heart of integrity.