The topic Integrity has been mulling over my mind for some weeks now. Wikipedia defines it as ‘a concept has to do with consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes.’ The definition goes on to state ‘Some people see integrity as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions.’
What started me thinking about integrity? A number of events contributed to it: dishonesty in Church, Banking and mixed messages from our political leaders. However, a conversation with a business person recently brought it home to me as this person stated that they struggled to communicate with others in business around them. When this person realised that their struggle was as a result of how we communicate with each other they realised that when they concentrate on their own personal business values and ideals then there was no struggle to communicate. The difficulties arose when they had to communicate in an arena where their values and beliefs collided with those around them. Once they saw the sense of ‘honesty and truthfulness’ in relation to themselves then the struggle diminished.
So as we work towards our own personal integrity and developing integrity in our children and those around is, where do we begin? Branden in the Six Pillars of Self Esteem describes Integrity as : ‘living with congruence between what we know, what we profess, and what we do; telling the truth, honouring our commitments, exemplifying in action the values we profess to admire.’
Do we live well with what we know and profess about ourselves? Do we act as we believe we should act? Do we ‘walk the walk’?
If we had the strength to have integrity in our lives and institutions what would our society look like? What would we see, hear and sense every day? What could we do to make us strong? What could we do differently beginning now?
Does the night drawing in around 5pm cause us all to reflect? When we lived a more natural life in keeping with nature and her growing cycle, November was a time for rest, enjoying the produce of the harvest and conversation in the evening.
‘Eveningtime’ Something in that word causes me to notice. Do we have evening time any more? Our days are often divided into just day and night, work and rest, office and home with less of that period of winding down, relaxing before night, ‘When I get to sit down its too late to relax’
We now have light beamed into every dark corner and if we want to relax there are so many distractions around us. But what will the future bring? As our ‘economy’ falters more of us have more time, as peak oil and energy costs impact in the coming years will we still have the extravagance of all these light filled spaces? Is this going to be a lifestyle crisis or opportunity? At the recent Ceiliúradh conference in Tipperary Institute Rob Hopkins posed the question: ‘what stories will we tell our children and grandchildren?’ If the stories are to be real then what could we be ‘doing’ at this point so as to have stories to remember?
So where do we want to begin our story? What story would you like to tell your grandchildren in 30 years time? How could we begin the story in terms of how we responded to the need to preserve the earth’s resources, reduce our carbon emissions and respond to increased unemployment and financial pressures?
Where does coaching fit into this? Through coaching we obtain clarity and a deeper understanding of ourselves and the areas we want to progress on. Coaching can assist one to begin the journey.