One powerful though often unrecognized area of effective communication is professional integrity. And it is not necessarily the moral dimension, the first quality we typically associate with integrity.
I am thinking about how we develop stature in our field and for our company. I don’t know that there are metrics used to measure it, but it has power. Integrity is evident by your command of attention. The person with professional integrity is sought after for their opinion, and listened to when voiced. The business with stature is respected as a thought leader in its field.
Consider this loosely constructed list of actions that you may take to build on-the-job integrity.
- Continuing education and certifications
- A disciplined approach to reading—and sharing—emerging trends and best practices from favorite blogs, websites, and other publications
- Joining a professional association and becoming an active member
- Writing and/or speaking on a specific practice area
- Mentoring or tutoring
In each of these examples, one’s professional integrity is defined by a dedication to growing expertise, experience, and engagement.
Integrity is strength. It is the foundation of your profession, and marked by growing trust. The individual or company who has earned recognition for their integrity is often given more latitude to pursue innovation, and the occasional failure that accompanies it, in the quest for improvement.
As a colleague with integrity, you are sure to be heard. And that’s a mark of an effective communicator.