How often have you heard people use the word ‘integrity?’ Be honest; do you know what it means? Even if you do, are you sure that’s all there is to it? Integrity is one of the numerous good virtues that people hope to have. But just as with any other character, it is not easy. Becoming a person of integrity takes a lot of conscious decisions, sacrifices, and a strong will. But while it might not be a simple task, everyone is expected to have good integrity. If it’s not even for each individual, it is for the greater good. So, find out in this article what integrity is genuinely all about, its importance, ways of demonstrating it, and other needed pointers.

Integrity Meaning

So what is integrity? Integrity means being honest and genuine in your moral and ethical values and principles. Being a person of integrity means you don’t compromise on what you believe, no matter what. While this can seem impossible, it is genuinely not. You need always to correlate what you say with what you do, and it will be easy as long as you are sure of what you believe in. You should be ‘undivided and whole.’ That’s integrity!

Why is Integrity important?

But if most people don’t know what it means to be a person of integrity, why should anyone bother? Why is integrity important? Here’s why:

  1. Living a life of integrity will free your mind from worrying about unnecessary things like “What would they say?” or “Would they like this?”
  2. People of integrity are more confident in themselves because they live by their beliefs and not by anyone else’s standards. For instance, if you think you were born beautiful, you won’t need to hide any birthmarks or freckles.
  3. Life becomes simple because all you need to do is look inward and ask yourself if your next decision aligns with your values.
  4. Others easily trust you because everyone can be sure of your capabilities.
  5. It would be easy for you to get references because your employers, parents, or leaders are sure of who you are and what you can do.
  6. People will respect you because, deep down, we all envy those brave enough to live with integrity.
  7. You’d be the first pick for leadership positions at all times.
  8. You’d also be the first pick during consideration for promotions.
  9. It determines your reputation as a person, which they say is your name before your name. Who are you? Are you the caring man who helped the old lady cross the road or the
  10. You’d be making the world a better place.

Integrity Value

Now that you see how important it is to be a person of integrity, how can you live by it? What do people of integrity value? Or rather, what are the things that should come with integrity? If you want to show true integrity, you must be true to yourself and your words regardless of whether or not people are watching (and people will always be watching). Note that though people with integrity are true to their beliefs, words, and values, it is not the same if your beliefs, comments, and values are immoral virtues. If one is true to the wrong values and beliefs, the person is not showing integrity but lacks moral character. While this can sound slightly ambiguous and foreign, people with integrity usually have the following traits as part of them: You can also consider them the values of integrity:


People of integrity are usually gracious and unafraid to express gratitude to those around them. They are not the kind of people who take things for granted, no matter how small. Instead, they take the time to truly express their gratitude, acknowledging the other person’s efforts to help them.


Acting with integrity means respecting those around you, younger or older. If you need to meet up with someone, show up on time. If you need to say something to someone, do so with respect for the person’s feelings while still keeping your values in mind. Just because you don’t believe in a specific ideology does not mean the person who does is not worthy of respect.


If you make a promise, stick to it and fulfil it. Refrain from going back on your words and remain transparent. Being honest, respectful, and responsible for your actions makes you trustworthy, and people with integrity are always trusted.

Consideration of others

Besides respecting others’ feelings and requests, you must also be considerate and kind to others when needed (and if it is within your values and beliefs). Indeed, you don’t need to be ‘considerate’ to a thief trying to escape from robbing a bank. But if a pregnant woman enters a bus, you can stand up and allow her to sit. Being considerate also means being helpful or caring, even if it is out of your way at that moment.


No one likes obstacles or delays, but you cannot see people with integrity, meaning those with solid morals, becoming hasty or impatient. They are calm, tolerate challenges, and are put together. You’d see these people waiting their turn in a queue without cutting lines or waiting their turn to speak.

Hard work

People with integrity are not slackers. They don’t look for the easy way out or try to find shortcuts to success. They are prepared to work hard and make the necessary investments to succeed, no matter how long it takes.

Leading by example

If you are in a leadership position, it is easy to task your team members with work while you supervise. However, people of integrity don’t do this. If you have asked your team to do a job, do it as well as you’d want them to. The same goes for leadership in the family. As a parent, if you don’t want your child to leave their dishes on the table after eating, don’t leave your dishes on the table either.

How to Demonstrate Integrity

There are three steps to follow if you want to live with integrity. Note that it may not be an easy road, and the steps are not things you can start immediately. You should reflect on your life, answer complex questions, and take conscious steps towards the results. But at the end of the day, you should know it is worth it, based on the importance of integrity discussed earlier. Here are the steps that show you how to demonstrate integrity:

Step I: Value definition

Since integrity means living by your values, you must have ‘values’ to begin with. Values are your standards or the principles by which you judge what you come across in life. If you value health, you will choose water when faced with a choice between water and vanilla-filled chocolate soda with a pint of alcohol. So ask yourself, What are your values? What are the things you cannot compromise on in your life? What are the things that define who you are?

Step II: Make every choice consciously.

Now that you know your values, you need to make the right decisions that align with them. If you value health, it might seem comfortable and sometimes unconscious to pick up a bottle of soda first thing in the morning. However, stop and think before you do, say, or go anywhere. To make this easier for you, ask yourself, “If my decision was posted on a billboard for the entire world to see, would it make you proud or ashamed?”

Step III: Walk with people who encourage integrity.

No matter what you might think, peer pressure affects your decisions and how you live. Even if you don’t let it affect you, the wrong peer pressure will surely make decision-making much more challenging than it should be. If you want to be a person of integrity, hang out with people with the same values.

Integrity in the Workplace

Let’s dive deeper into working with integrity, especially for those who spend more time in the office environment. While work integrity is not too far-fetched from general goodness, you still need to know a few things as an employer, manager, or team player. So what are these things?

Working with Integrity

Workplace integrity is how you relate to your co-workers, boss, subordinates, and customers. To work with integrity means being honest, loyal, and always respectful to everyone.

But beware; integrity at work is more challenging than it sounds. Being honest means admitting a mistake, even to your subordinates, while being loyal means you must refrain from any activity that does not uphold the organisation’s core values (including lateness, slackness, or procrastination). Finally, respect your boss and customers (including the provocative ones).

Example of integrity at work

You can show integrity in many ways as long as you always do the right thing. But to help you get a clear image of integrity in the workplace, here are some examples for you:

  • Always come to work on time, and always take your time.
  • In the case of lateness, notify those you need to beforehand.
  • Refrain from being absent from work without prior notification to your team members or employer.
  • Don’t share confidential secrets of the company with other people within or outside the organisation.
  • Don’t gossip with others in the company (and even outside).
  • Admit when you are wrong to others.
  • Help out when you can without the expectation of a reward or acknowledgement.
  • Keep your co-worker’s secret if they have kept it with you.
  • During conflicts, always respect other people’s opinions. Try to remain calm and always speak politely.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up for your values and beliefs, but don’t forget about respecting others.
  • Never use impolite or unprofessional language at work.
  • Try always to be responsible for your actions.
  • Only take on tasks you can handle and avoid overburdening yourself so you don’t fail to fulfil your duties.
  • Follow all company policies.
  • Take time to invest in yourself to improve your work ethic and reach even better productivity—it is an act of loyalty.
  • Respect the company’s belongings and avoid using office resources for personal things.
  • When you borrow anything, ensure that you return it as promised.


Congratulations on reaching this point, from the meaning of integrity to the example of integrity at work. But now it’s time to start applying the knowledge you have gained. Remember that you first need to define your values. Don’t worry if identifying your values seems daunting; this is a beautiful opportunity for personal growth. Best of all, you don’t have to go through the steps alone. Seeking guidance from a counsellor can be a constructive and empowering step towards finding your values.