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As a Life Coach, I hear all sorts of dating disasters and problems in marriage and relationships. Most of these issues are rooted in a lack of communication and lack of integrity from one or more of the people involved. Good communication eliminates assumptions, misunderstandings and arguments that could have altogether been avoided. The word "integrity" is defined as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions, stemming from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. It is important to maintain integrity in life so that people feel they can trust you and depend on you as a friend, a business associate or a loving partner.
Many of us fail to comprehend that our ‘word’, e.g. what we say, is all we have in life. You can talk all day long about who you are, what you are going to do, and make promises, etc. but should you fail to put your word into action, you are just talking. You must Be in Your Word or do what you say you are going to do. Being in your word is being in integrity. Integrity, like a wheel on a bike, has a continuous flow; it is predictable, dependable and reliable. Should the wheel go flat and lack integrity, it must be repaired back to its normal condition to operate properly. Just like when a wheel goes flat, when your integrity goes “flat”, you must make amends to repair the situation to return it to normal.
Following are some ideas on how to Be in Your Word and Stay in Integrity with the people in your life:
- First, and foremost, if you want someone in your life, then make time for them; make them an equal priority. No one wants to play second fiddle to your busy schedule, and YOU fill YOUR time with what is important to YOU.
- Being late is like saying, “My time is more important than yours.” The world does not revolve around you. First impressions can be soured and difficult to overcome if you blow it.
- Don’t say you are going to call when you don’t intend to call. Don’t promise to do anything you can’t follow through on.
- Keep in mind that honesty and integrity are especially important when dealing with children. We learn rules for living as children. They are watching what you do and say, and you are teaching them how to operate in life. Unfulfilled promises can feel like abandonment to little ones and they learn not to trust.
- Don’t leave people hanging. Their time is just important as yours. When you say, “Let’s get together for lunch on Tuesday”, keep in mind the other person has probably blocked out Tuesday’s lunch on their calendar to spend time with you. Make sure to decide the details in advance; “Why don’t we meet at Panera at noon for lunch on Tuesday?”
- Practice honesty and integrity in EVERY AREA of your life. While a person may be on time for work and practice good communication and good follow-through professionally, that same person may communicate poorly and lack honesty and attention to detail at home and in their personal life.
- Finally and most importantly, remember that no one is perfect and no expects you to be perfect. When you find that you are unable to do what you say, then quickly apologize, take responsibility and recommit. That is also a vital part of good communication and being in integrity.
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