Keep your integrity - build trust and reputation

Always keep your integrity.

Sometimes a situation arises which tempts us to do the wrong thing, causing harm or upset that could have been avoided.

Making such a mistake can damage personal integrity.

We are all human; mistakes happen. If you do make a mistake or wrong decision - whether it significantly undermines your integrity or not - always admit it and apologise.

Failing to apologise for wrong-doing often damages a person's integrity and reputation far more than the original misjudgment itself.

We only need to think of how we view people in high and public authority, notably politicians, when they fail to take responsibility and admit their mistakes. Some integrity is lost. Do it a few times and all integrity is lost.

People of low integrity sooner or later find that the only friends they have left are other people of low integrity.

Significantly, integrity is vital for trust to develop. Trust is simply not possible without integrity.

Building trust is essential for growing a strong business network.

Lack of trust prevents successful business networking.

Certain connections are absolutely impossible to make until a very high level of trust is established.

Empathy and effective listening greatly assist the process of building trust.

These qualities require you to be genuinely interested in others; to listen properly, and to reflect back meaningfully and helpfully.

Following up is also a vital feature of building trust and reputation.

You will probably know a few very solid people who always keep their commitments, and who never make a commitment which they cannot keep. Aim to be like this.

Reliability and dependability are highly valued qualities in relationships, especially relationships involving referrals and recommendations, because someone's reputation is at stake.

The words 'reliable' and 'dependable' do not mean that you are always available to everyone. These words mean simply that when you say you will do something you will do it.