Everyday Alchemy: Discover the Extraordinary in Every Moment

Alchemy:(n.) The power or process of transforming something common into something extraordinary. Hi! I'm Sarah Robinson, Business Coach and Resident Alchemist. Welcome to my Blog. My mission is to bring the powerful magic of Everyday Alchemy into the daily lives of Life Adventurers everywhere (especially those with an entrepenurial bent!). Let me know how this resonates with you-I am fascinated! Email me: sarah@everydayalchemy.com. Visit my website at http://www.everydayalchemy.com/

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Integrity: A Key to Everyday Alchemy

Lately I have become fascinated with the whole topic of integrity. Living with integrity in my relationships with others and in my relationship myself. If the idea of integrity is new to you, the following article and quiz will give you tons of insight. I'm thinking of adding Integrity to the Essential Elements of Everyday Alchemy-I believe it is that important in our daily lives.

Have a Magical Day!

Integrity at Work: How are you showing up?

As the business sections of today's papers and magazines read more and more like the police blotter, "integrity" is fast becoming a hot topic of conversation in business boardrooms, around water coolers, and in today's business best-sellers. Integrity is defined as walking the talk when it comes to living one's core values, e.g., honesty, sincerity, self-responsibility, trust, respect, etc., and when it comes to being authentic.

Integrity is a lot like being pregnant. In other words, either you are pregnant, or you aren't. There's no middle ground. It's the same with integrity.

At work, integrity is not a robe that one can put on and take off when it's convenient. However, workplace behaviors more often than not seem to indicate convenience does lay a large part in whether people show up in integrity or not. Who people are at work, and how people are at work, seems to change like the weather, the weather of convenience.

When asked, many folks say they believe they are, in fact, always acting in integrity. However, when we look at actual day-to-day, minute-by-minute workplace behaviors this is clearly not the case. Why? One reason is folks' basic needs for control, recognition and security.

Because most people are driven by their egos and their ego needs for control, recognition and security, they often move away from their true and authentic self, from their deeper inner values, and behave in ways that are contrary to do-ing and be-ing in integrity.

So, do you think, feel and believe you live your core values at work, that you show up in integrity in your workplace? Take this self-assessment and explore who you are and how you are at work when it comes to integrity.

1. On an integrity scale of 1(low) to 10(high), how would you rate yourself with it comes to the following workplace behaviors:

(a) gossiping; (b) bullying; (c) viewing or downloading porn; (d) stealing physical materials; (e) stealing intellectual capital; (f) stealing time; (g) telling the truth; (h) taking responsibility for your piece of your team's projects; (i) making excuses; (j) being direct, open and honest in your communications; (k) respecting others?

2. Who or what usually takes you out of integrity?

3. When you're out of integrity, what kind of self-talk do you engage in?

4. When do your needs for control, recognition and security take you out of integrity?

5. Do you ever lie to yourself about being in integrity? If so, why?

6. Does it matter to you that you are sometimes out of integrity?

7. Do you use the same definition of integrity for yourself and for others? If not, why not?

8. Do you respond if others act out of integrity and their actions directly affect you?

9. Do you respond if others act out of integrity and their actions affect your team, your unit, your department or your organization?

10. Do you ever excuse or rationalize your being out of integrity? If so, when and why?

At the end of the day, integrity is all about telling the truth about ourselves, to ourselves. It's all about living this truth.

Many of us are quick to judge and criticize others who act out of integrity. But truth be told, many of us are just as prone to separate from our core values and act out of integrity when it's convenient in some way.

So, some food for thought questions are:

How did you do with your self-assessment?

Who are you and how are you when it comes to showing up at work in integrity?

What did you learn about yourself, if anything, from this inquiry?

How does this experience leave you feeling?


Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D.

Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D, is co-founder of SpiritHeart, an Atlanta, GA firm specializing in coaching, counseling and facilitating. 770-804-9125, pvajda@spiritheart.net