Character and integrity are demonstrated by actions not words. Challenges come to everyone, but what you do with them is the difference maker: keep doing the right thing even when the wrong things are happening.
In business, as in all areas of life, it’s important to have character and integrity. This means doing the right thing, even when it’s not easy. Being honest, ethical, and trustworthy. Standing up for what you believe in, even when it’s unpopular or when there may be a price to pay.
Character and integrity are the essential foundations of trust and respect. They underpin good working relationships.
In addition, character and integrity are the keel on your boat that help you weather life’s inevitable challenges. When things go wrong, it’s tempting to make hasty or emotionally-based decisions, withdraw into a no-decision mindset, or take the seemingly easier option of going with the flow. But if you have character and integrity, you’ll be more likely to stay true to your values and make the right long term choices. This will absolutely speed recovery from setbacks and you will come out stronger on the other side.
Of course, it’s not always easy. There will be times when you’re tempted to cut corners or bend the rules. And with the rampant corruption we see in politics and business it can appear that a moral compass is in fact a disadvantage. But deep down, you know otherwise, and true lasting success is built one choice at a time – not by shortcuts.
Character and Integrity in the Hiring Process
When you’re hiring employees, or interviewing for a new job it’s essential to prioritize character and integrity alongside any hard skills or technical knowledge. Here are a few tips for doing this:
- Ask the right questions – If you are the interviewer, ask candidates questions that will give you a sense of their values and life paradigm and really listen to their answers. For example, you could ask them about a time when they had to make a difficult decision. Ask follow up questions to probe their decision framework. If you are the job seeker, when asked “Do you have any questions for me?” ask about
- Pay attention to their body language – Body language can be a tell. Fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, and rapid frequent blinking are often signs that they’re not being truthful. Don’t make a snap judgement on that but do look for confirmation in other areas.
- Get references – Ask candidates for references from past bosses, peers and subordinates if relevant, and see if they are consistent. This is a good way to get an unbiased opinion of the candidate.
Whichever side of the hiring desk you are on, don’t underestimate the importance of character and integrity in making a good match.