Let's talk restoring integrity.
We share a lot about integrity over here at Social Media Pro. Integrity is when you do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it.
When it comes to be a Social Media Manager or a content creator, there is a layer of integrity that has to happen with how you show up online too.
But what happens when we break our integrity?
Let's face it, no matter how much we love those streaks of perfection and checking all the boxes, we can't maintain that level of perfection 100% of the time.
There are going to be times where you break your integrity. You say you're going to do something, and you don't do it. Something gets in the way. Maybe you're procrastinating. Maybe you're feeling burnt out.
The reason that you broke your integrity, maybe something completely outside of your control.
Even those of us who value and practice integrity have moments where we mess up from time to time.
Why Should You Practice Restoring Integrity?
What should you do when you make a mistake? You miss a deadline or say something out of integrity with who you’re committed to being.
Here’s the good news.. There are steps you can take to restore your integrity. These steps are ones we can all follow.
But before I dive into what it takes to restore integrity, let’s get clear on what happens if you don’t restore integrity.
Let’s say that you’re at 98% integrity because you've got two points off for the little deadline that you missed.
If you never restore back to a hundred percent, then the next time you miss a deadline or the next time you mess up, you're continuing to diminish your integrity points instead of starting from a hundred.
The practice of restoring integrity is a super big, important part of integrity that we don't talk about very much. It’s like there is an assumption that once you’re in integrity, and as long as you practice it, you’ll stay there forever.
But that’s not the case.
It is important to also practice restoring integrity when you slip up, so that you can keep going without digging a deeper hole that is much harder to dig your way out of.
Let’s dive into the steps for Restoring Integrity.
Step One Restoring Integrity: Acknowledge that You Broke Your Commitment
The first step in restoring integrity is to acknowledge that you broke your commitment. This will require you to apologize to the relevant person(s) involved.
Just like in the 12 step program for Alcoholics Anonymous or any sobriety program, you too need to acknowledge the breakdown and where you broke your promise.
Step Two: Take Responsibility for Your Broken Promise
The second step to restoring integrity is to actually take responsibility for it. Even if your reason for why you are out of integrity was something out of your control.
Whether your flight got canceled, your family needed you, or you over-scheduled yourself. When you’re taking steps to restore integrity, it is your responsibility to own whatever it was that caused the break in integrity in the first place.
As you are taking responsibility do not get caught up in making excuses.
There are likely a million things you could have done differently. But you have arrived at the outcome you are currently facing. Own it. Take responsibility.
You might also want to read my 5 Steps for Break Up Recovery. There I talk about not getting stuck in the woulda, coulda, shouldas. Some parts of that conversation might support you in restoring integrity as well.
Step Three: Ask What’s Needed to Restore Integrity
The third step in restoring integrity is to check in with the other parties involved.
You’ve acknowledged that you broke integrity. You’ve taken responsibility for what led you to be out of integrity and now it’s time to ask…
“What action or resolve is needed to restore the integrity of the agreement back to 100%?”
When you are out of integrity, there is an impact that occurs to the other parties involved. In order to restore integrity, you need to actually have concern or interest in the impact that was made.
What happened because you were late on a deadline or spoke in a way that wasn’t in alignment with your integrity or that of the company, community, or person or people(s) involved?
Sometimes there is little or no impact because you have a great relationship with the other person. It’s not a big deal. You catch up, move forward and carry on.
But… if you don’t ever ask, how will you really ever know?
Other times, when we’re out of integrity on something that has multiple people involved and lots of moving pieces, the impact can affect everyone and diminish the outcome of a meeting, project, or experience.
You need to ask the other person or people involved.
What was the impact of my break in integrity AND what can I do to restore integrity?
You have to be willing to be vulnerable to really hear the answer they are giving you.
No matter what answer they give you, it’s your job to receive and own it. Their experience of what it was like you to break your promise is valid and worthy of being heard.
If you find yourself wanting to deflect and play the blame game, claiming it wasn’t your fault and you were at the whim of another – stop. This is not about being right.
This is about restoring integrity. Which will benefit you and your relationships in the long run.
You can have your own ideas about what you think will restore integrity when approaching them. But it’s really the job of the person to agree, disagree, or suggest what’s needed to fully restore integrity in the situation because they were the ones impacted.
Step Four: Do the Work
The last and final step in restoring integrity is to do the work.
Stay in communication with the parties involved to maintain integrity.
Come up with a time frame together where you can show up in integrity and to restore integrity when needed until you can call the situation complete and move on.
After restoring integrity, you have a clean slate with that person and you can start over fresh again without the nagging in the back of your mind about who has kept their word and who hasn’t.
Thanks for tuning into this week’s conversation. I’m Kate Buck Jr., you can find me on all the social media channels.
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