It seems like every week you see another scandal in the media. Whether you just saw the Fyre Festival documentaries or if it’s another CEO that didn’t fulfill their promise, dishonesty is everywhere. Integrity can take years to build up a good reputation but it only takes one incident to tear it all down. In light of NSCS’ Integrity week, here are 5 ways you can build up your integrity.  

  1. Associate with other people that also value integrity 

Birds of a feather flock together come to mind with this first principle. People often associate you with the group you hang out with. If your group consists of people that aren’t the most trustworthy, that stigma will follow you. Whether it be group projects or in the workplace, make an effort to find the right group for you.  

  1. Keep your promises

This may be a no brainer, but it is crucial to keep your promises to develop your integrity. If your friend tells you a secret, you must whole-heartedly keep that secret. It can even be little things too. If you say you’re going to meet someone at 6:30, you better be there. In the workplace, meet deadlines and be honest with your peers. Large and small acts can reinforce your integrity.  

  1. Own your mistakes 

It is ok to fail. It is wired into our brains that we must always strive for perfection or get it right the first try. From failing you learn. You do better next time. If you know you messed up on a group assignment, own your mistakes don’t place the fault on others. Leave earlier for work. Set more alarms in the morning. Let your mistakes be learning experiences that you will never forget.  

  1. Don’t gossip 

It may be tempting to get all the hot gossip on why so-and-so quit or what your boss’ secret meeting entailed, but gossiping can come back to haunt you. Would you want someone talking behind your back? No. No one’s career progresses from gossiping, so show your integrity and be professional. 

  1. Trust your gut  

When faced with an ethical dilemma in which your integrity is at question…always trust your gut. It may be tempting to lay out all the possible scenarios that could arise from your dilemma, but ultimately, worrying won’t solve your problem. So don’t stress, your initial instinct will likely be the right decision. 

When it comes to building integrity, it is no small feat, but it is doable. Ensure that you are making good decisions made with integrity and stay true to your moral compass. Once you do that your reputation will speak for itself.