Understanding Integrity: Characteristics, Benefits and Urgency

Hello fellow Reader , have you ever heard the word Integrity? Reader friends are sure that the word integrity must be familiar to our ears, especially for people who work in an organization or company..

Integrity is indeed a very important word in the world of business and work. Unfortunately, integrity is one of the words that is often misunderstood and misused in organizations. The general public has three definitions of integrity, namely integrity means being honest, a balanced and orderly life can be called a life of integrity, and integrity means doing things properly without undue effort.

Basically, everyone should have integrity as a form of responsibility, whether it’s a task, a job, or daily activities. To better understand what integrity is, Reader can refer to this article that discusses its meaning, characteristics, examples, and application, both in the world of work and in the principles of life.

Meaning of Integrity

Integrity is a word that comes from the Latin word “Intiger” which means whole and complete. So integrity requires an inner feeling that reveals integrity and consistency of character. In short, integrity means the concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and results. In ethics, integrity is considered to be honest and fair or true in one’s actions.

Moreover, the definition of integrity according to experts is not too far from the definition we proposed earlier. An expert defines integrity as three things that we can always hold fast to: staying committed, being honest, and doing things consistently.

Integrity is your image in an organization that can be seen from your daily behavior and actions. Integrity refers to consistency between words and convictions reflected in daily actions.

Sometimes people only speak with their lips while their hearts are filled with pride, jealousy, envy, revenge, and emotions. People with integrity often think before speaking so that their behavior and actions are consistent with what is said.

A person’s integrity is always tested in terms of status, women, wealth, family, money, a little fear, a little hunger, etc. Integrity is a feeling of patience and gratitude. Honest people are patient when tested, and when blessed, they are grateful.

What is meant by integrity is thinking, speaking, behaving, and acting correctly, accurately, and in accordance with the code of ethics and principles. Integrity begins with thoughts, not words. Thinking gives rise to knowledge, understanding, values, beliefs, and principles. People who say things without thinking can cause regret later, hurt other people’s feelings, and even cause hatred.

It feels incomplete if we do not understand the meaning of integrity based on the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI). Integrity in KBBI is a quality, trait or condition that manifests a unity, so that it has the potential and capacity to exercise authority and honesty.

When we have high self-esteem, the people around us can see it through our actions, words, decisions, methods, and results. Likewise when we become whole and coherent human beings, wherever we are and in whatever condition, there is only one. We will never leave a part of ourselves in another situation, because we have become a cohesive person. In other words, you are always yourself.

Socrates said, “With one’s mind one can make the world grow or thorn.” So you are what you think. Thinking happy makes you happy, thinking you can’t make you can’t. Thoughts can make you competent and brave thoughts make you brave.

As said Dr. Ibrahim Elfiky, positive thoughts create positive actions and results. Integrity should start with positive thinking. Positive thinkers speak positive words and behave and act positively. Think positive, then everything around you will also appear positive.

After thinking about it, it’s time to say a word. Words can express a person’s quality. Words are magical because they can influence the way a person thinks and acts. The right choice of words can inspire people to be more enthusiastic in work. The words of conscience will motivate him to behave and act in a true and proper way.

On the other hand, words that are not in accordance with the conscience can lead to behavior and actions that can harm oneself and others. Finally, what you say should be expressed in good and fair behavior and actions while still respecting the code of ethics and ethical principles.

Behaving and acting with dignity and integrity is a unit that becomes a standard for officers in performing their duties.

Integrity According to the Experts

1. Henry Cloud

According to Henry Cloud, when we talk about integrity, it cannot be separated from the effort to be a complete and inclusive person in all different parts of the self, who functions well and does one’s job, the service is in accordance with what was planned in advance. Integrity is closely related to the wholeness and effectiveness of a person as a human being.

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2. Ippho Santoso

According to Ippho Santoso, integrity is generally defined as a combination of thoughts, words, and actions that create reputation and trust. If used to refer to the origin of the word, the meaning of the word Integrity means to say completely and completely.

3. Andreas Harefa

According to Andreas Harefa, integrity is three keys that can be observed, namely honesty, respecting commitments and doing things consistently.

4. Stephen R. Covey

According to Stephen R. Covey distinguishes between honesty and integrity “honesty is telling the truth, in other words, according to our words. In fact, integrity follows our words, how we say them. Others, fulfilling promises and fulfilling expectations.”

Honesty means conveying the truth, a person’s words correspond to reality. Integrity shows that his actions match his words. People with integrity and honesty are independent people. They show their authenticity as responsible and dedicated people.

5. Dr. Kenneth Boa 

Dr. Kenneth Boa describes integrity as the direct opposite of hypocrisy. He considers that a hypocrite does not meet the conditions to guide others to achieve noble character. Integrity is required for everyone, not only the leader but also the people being led.

People want to know that their leaders can be trusted if they want to be followers. They believe that leaders care about the interests of each team member and that leaders must have confidence that their team members will do their jobs.

Leaders and followers want to know that they will keep their promises and never waver in their commitment. Those who live with integrity will not and cannot destroy the trust of those who trust them.

They always choose the right and defend the truth. That is a sign of integrity. Tell the truth responsibly, even if you don’t feel comfortable saying it.

Integrity is about “heart”, which is the ability to fulfill one’s conscience, including, among others, honesty, sincerity, commitment, etc. And integrity is built through three important factors, namely leadership values ​​(values ), consistency, and commitment.

These values ​​are the guidelines for the leader’s actions. This integrity is stronger if the leader has consistency between what is said and done (at the beginning of the conversation) and is committed to it. If we do not have integrity, we lose credibility because others will turn their backs on us to avoid disappointment. Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to principles, life values, and strong moral and ethical values.

Characteristics of People Who Have an Attitude of Integrity

1. Having an Honest, Sincere, and Trustworthy Attitude

An organization will easily find employees with higher education, experience and graduates from prestigious universities. But finding honest, sincere, and trustworthy employees is not easy.

Employees like this are still rare, so the leadership is tasked with finding hidden pearls in the corners of the archipelago to become agents of change towards success. An employee who is honest and sincere in doing his job will pay attention to his conscience.

An honest and sincere attitude is self-confidence that can bring happiness and peace of mind. Work is not just to get material/wealth, but more importantly, how after work the soul becomes calm, peaceful and sleeps well.

What is the meaning of wealth if it is obtained with dishonesty, of course it makes you feel guilty, your heart beats fast, you cannot eat well. Honesty and sincerity are the main pillars of preventing corruption, collusion, and disgrace. On the other hand, dishonesty encourages corruption and unhealthy competition.

Honesty and sincerity in work can build trust in the work environment. Honesty and sincerity will not reduce the honor, self-esteem and authority of employees, but rather be trusted, loved, respected and appreciated by the people around them.

2. Open and Consistent

Transparency or openness is the result of trust. Managers will not promote or give risky jobs to employees they do not trust. Employees also do not follow the advice of unreliable leaders.

In terms of service to the community, officers must be transparent about regulations, costs, and standard operating procedures (SOP). Never accept or collect anything other than the terms of service, as this can damage trust. Building trust takes a long time but destroying it is short.

Consistency can be understood as following rules, codes of ethics, and ethical principles that should be true. Consistency can also be understood as the adequacy between what is said and what is done. Consistency creates stability.

Employees who are consistent in their search and choice of truth. Consistency is up to you, because it’s your life that determines the fit between your values ​​and actions.

3. Be Objective

Being objective means making an assessment based on pre-determined criteria or measurements that are supported by data and facts. Being objective will bring you closer to justice.

If behavior is only based on a person’s preference or assumption of liking or disliking, it will definitely lead to dissatisfaction, hatred, injustice, and other negative behaviors.

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High education, expertise, work experience and high positions do not guarantee high integrity. Integrity is you, you determine the ups and downs of your inner integrity.

No one can change you unless you want to change for a happier life. Without integrity your life feels bland, integrity makes you feel calm and peaceful because in your heart there is always hope.

4. Maintaining Dignity and Not Doing Reprehensible Things

Maintaining dignity means being able to maintain positive values ​​in oneself. Upholding the dignity and worth of the workplace is the duty of every employee. The more important your position or position at work,

the greater the temptation to come to you. Eligible employees certainly do not commit shameful acts such as bribery, extortion, abuse of power and the like.

Employees who engage in embarrassing behavior are usually not afraid or ashamed. For example, agents who openly charge out-of-the-box processing fees , they do not need to be ashamed. Sometimes they feel proud of the goods bought with corrupt money.

However, if he is caught red-handed, he has to endure suffering and misery in life, embarrassing his family and the agency he works for. You reflect the culture of the office in providing service. Maintain the honor and dignity of the department by not doing embarrassing things.

Don’t let temptation weaken you until you end up being tempted to commit a reprehensible act. Your friends may say you’re stupid for refusing bribes, but on the other hand, refusing bribes can make you stronger, more honorable, and more valuable.

5. Always Arrive on Time

The first and main habit to have is to get used to being on time, every moment. This attitude reflects that we are very committed and consistent from time to time, because punctuality means that we value the time we have and the time that others have.

This attitude will make people around us believe that we are trustworthy individuals, because we live with integrity. On the other hand, when we are often late, others do not appreciate us.

It’s okay, we just don’t appreciate their time. Do we still deserve the respect of others? Our respect not only tarnishes but also damages our reputation in the company. Therefore, immediately practice and apply this habit anytime, anywhere.

6. Responsible Person

Employees should be willing to take risks for the results of their work. What is done can not only be held accountable to the ruler or the country, but more importantly can be held accountable to God.

You should think that every time you do work, someone is watching you even when no one can see it. The best attitude towards mistakes in your work is not to blame others, but to judge yourself by admitting mistakes, apologizing, and improving yourself.

Remember, you are responsible for yourself. If you do good, good will come back to you, but if you do bad, bad will come back to you.

7. Don’t Let Stress Control Your Personal Integrity

Too often, stress and pressure make people feel bad and take shortcuts by damaging their integrity. For example, a former employee of XYZ company is a person of high integrity. But because of the situation that made it more and more difficult for him to work and almost made him despair, he did something against the law.

When he commits a violation that harms the company, he indirectly damages its integrity. So let stress be the trigger that prompts us to take a deep breath and give our best effort. Don’t let stress destroy the self-confidence we already have.

Integrity Benefits

  1. For material gain , people with integrity tend to experience material gain. For example, feeling healthier and more agile when doing activities.
  2. Intellectually beneficial individuals with integrity are often more capable of maximizing their abilities than hypocritical individuals.
  3. Emotional excellence In general, people with integrity also have motivation, self-discipline, great solidarity, empathy, sympathy, and emotional stability.
  4. Spiritual benefits , integrity makes a person wiser in interpreting his entire life experience.
  5. Social importance , a person’s integrity facilitates good relationships with others and cooperation in society

The Importance of Integrity in One’s Life

Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, powerless capacity; inability, limited understanding; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; Without knowledge, experience is blind. The experience is easily given and quickly used by people with all other qualities. (Anonymous)

From the quote above, it can be explained that integrity is the most important thing in a person’s life in general. When we look for the characteristics of how to build a personal life, the sequence starts from;

  1. Integrity
  2. Motivation
  3. Ability
  4. Knowledge
  5. Experience

Here is a brief explanation of why integrity is so important in everyone’s life:

  • Integrity is one of them applying applicable values ​​and standards.
  • A person’s integrity will determine that he can be led and can become a leader because only people with integrity have quality character and the ability to learn from others.
  • A person’s integrity will determine the extent to which he deserves the trust of others because of his consistent actions.
  • Integrity builds a person’s reputation and achievements because he thinks, speaks, and acts consistently.