Integrity First – 4 Areas to Keep Integrity First in Your Life

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Integrity, it’s one of the buzz words of the day. We often hear we need to have integrity, but what does that really mean? Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one else is looking. It means making integrity decisions with yourself so you can make integrity decisions in every area of your life.
We all have opportunities to check our own integrity as well as observe the integrity or lack of integrity in others. Here are some area’s to check you integrity on and take notes on the integrity of others.

Gossip – Be careful who you talk about. I had a friend who was always talking about other people to me and how they were doing this or that. When that same friend got mad at me for something, I found out she was doing the same to me by running me down to others.
If they do it with you, they will do it to you. This is also true about people who have affairs. If they are having an affair on their spouse or partner with you, they will most likely do the same to you.

Promises – you are only as good as your word. If you don’t keep your word then you certainly can’t be trusted and are operating out of integrity. This goes hand in hand with commitment. Commitment means doing that thing you promised to do even when you no longer feel like doing it.
One time I promised my daughter when she was 4 that I would finish her birthday dress in time for her birthday. I got busy and it came down to the wire. I had to stay up all night the night before to get it finished but I did it because I made her a promise.

People – how do you treat people? Do you treat people with respect and integrity or do you attempt to get all you can out of them to your advantage. Do you lift people up or run them down? Some of this has to do with your own inner dialog. If you find yourself treating people badly, take a minute to look inside and see what that’s about as we often treat people based on what we grew up with and the way we are treated.

Recently I had someone contact me for coaching. We had a call and it seemed he had agreed to move forward. I sent an invoice and never received payment. He emailed me and asked for my intellectual property that I indicated I would send. When I said I would send it when he made payment, he blocked me in social media and refused to communicate with me. We had a mutual friend who contacted him to find out the story. He emailed me and said he purposely blocked me to see what my reaction would be. Definitely out of integrity and claims to have a business that helps people. Be careful how you treat people, it will catch up with you in the future.

Work – Have you ever gone to a store or restaurant, or been on the phone with a customer service representative only to have them act like they’re doing you some kind of favor by being there? This baffles my mind. So many people would love to have a job and get paid to do it yet we run into people with a bad attitude and that treat us with disrespect.

When I was a teenage high school dropout I was working at a department store. I was carrying a lot of emotional baggage. I came to work bruised from my boyfriend hitting me. (If you don’t know my story look at the forgiveness blog posts) I was talking to one of my coworkers about it who said to me “don’t bring your problems to work.” As harsh as that was, it was the truth. Sometimes it’s hard not to but it’s important to do the best job you can while you are at work and not let anything interfere with it.

On the other hand, if someone gives you bad service or is rude, it is your responsibility to bring it up either to them or their supervisor. Letting it go gives them the ok to keep doing it. Call them on their stuff.

These are just a few examples of where integrity shows up in our lives. My friend Christopher Rausch of the Kick Ass Guide to Life posted the following question on Facebook which prompted this post: In one word what does this world need more of? My answer is integrity. If we have integrity, everything else will fall into place.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

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