For many of us, Spring is a time of fresh starts, cleaning out the clutter, trimming the brush, and getting things in order. It’s time to make room for what wants to grow.
As a team, we started looking for ourselves for some part of the Leadership Course that could support us at this time of year. So to speak, what might be the best cleaning agent presented in Leadership Course? Cleaning up our word – better known in the Course as INTEGRITY – was the obvious answer!
As is said in the Leadership Course, a life of Integrity provides that special kind of personal power. Some would say Integrity gives us the power to slay our personal dragons, and to have things happen that wouldn’t or couldn’t otherwise. Integrity gives us the power to live fearlessly
SLIDE 398 points to the kind of life and living that might be available if one lived with Integrity …
What is it Like to Be Whole and Complete as a Person? Perhaps the most important aspect of being out of integrity is the loss of yourself.
When you honor your word to yourself and others: You are at peace with yourself, and therefore act from a place where you are at peace with others and the world, even those who disagree with or might threaten you.
You live without fear for your selfhood, that is who you are as a person. There is no fear of losing the admiration of others. You do not have to be right; you act with humility.
Integrity said simply is living as a person of your word. Living as a whole and complete person.
The next SLIDE continues…
[…] What is it Like to Be Whole and Complete as a Person?
Everything or anything that someone else might say is ok for consideration. There is no need to defend or explain yourself, or rationalize yourself. You are able to learn.
This way of being is often mistaken for mere self-confidence, rather than the true courage that comes from being whole and complete – that is, comes from being a person of integrity. […]
Having taken in this description of being whole and complete as a person, we began to dig deeper, asking ourselves the question, what does it look like to live as a person of integrity using the model of integrity presented in the Leadership Course? (if you’re not familiar with this model or want a refresher, download PDF here). We called Jeri (Instructor and Author of the Leadership Course) and invited her to join us in looking at “How do I clean up the mess I made?” and “What does it look like to clean up the mess you/I/we made?”
What is unique and powerful about this model of integrity is that when defining Integrity, this model distinguishes keeping one’s word from honoring one’s word. Of course, keeping one’s word is an important aspect of Integrity. However, all of us will inevitably run into occasions where we simply will not be able to “keep our word” or “keep it on time” or “do it as it was meant to be done” or “do it as others would expect us to do it”.
So if that’s the case – that we won’t always be able to keep our word – it must be especially critical to examine what it means to “honor our word”. Even when we cannot keep our word, we can honor our word.
So, how do we do that? In some situations it definitely feels like a Superpower is required. But remember, ordinary people can be extraordinary.
STEP ONE: Acknowledge to the appropriate person(s) that the word you gave has not been kept or will not be kept.
This isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Often we commit to things without fully being awake or aware of what we are giving our word to. To engage in this step, you have to get clear about what you promised, or what you allowed another to assume you promised. Go back to what happened (without judgment or evaluation) and get clear about what is so: what was the agreement? the promise? the contract? the WORD GIVEN? Get yourself clear without judgments about who is right or wrong, and put aside whatever is going on with you internally about this original exchange.
Once you are clear, acknowledge to the other person(s) that you did give your word to… and that it did not or will not happen.
STEP TWO: Acknowledge that you likely caused a mess for the other person(s) who were or will be impacted by the agreement broken or the promise not kept. What was said? What was agreed to? What did they expect? … What is the impact on the situation? What is the impact to the people involved?
This means find out and discover the impact. Take as long as it takes to discover the impact. When this has been completely articulated, only then move to step three.
STEP THREE: First, get the impact and then fully acknowledge that impact.
WARNING: People often report that in steps two and/or three, they get into what is going on with them internally. It’s a non-productive place to go when cleaning up your out integrity! How you feel about it, defending yourself, hiding or protecting to stay safe, avoiding responsibility or being right will invalidate the entire process. These are all evidence of an internal state on loud speaker. Remember impact is not personal, it’s just impact, it is what will or won’t happen and the fall out of what happened or did not happen, when the promise or agreement is/was not kept.
STEP FOUR: Once you and those involved have become clear on the impact, it is time to negotiate. What can be done or provided that will make up for or resolve the impact? This step generally requires sacrifice. You will likely need to sacrifice time, money or effort to address the impact. Restoring honor to your word happens with the people involved, it is arranged and aligned upon with both you and they participating in the process.
STEP FIVE: Look to see if it is appropriate to make new promises or agreements and state them. (Give them your word newly.)
Once you have come to a settlement on the impact it needs to be constituted as your word. You need to make a new promise or agreement and put in place what will be required to ensure it happens.
Living these five steps as-lived, as life is experienced on the court, takes courage. Acknowledging our out-integrity, cleaning up the mess we made, and promising newly, requires living a life where your word matters to you. It takes the courage of a Superhero … go be a Hero!
This Month’s Assignment:
Be a Hero … find the BIGGEST mess in your life.
Do the work to get clear about what agreement or promise was broken.
This will likely require conferring with who the agreement or promise is with to get clear what agreement or promise was broken.
Once it is clear what agreement / promise was broken find out what the impact has been. Watch out for getting mired in your or their internal state. You are looking for what the impact has been in the situation or between the parties impacted
Acknowledge your out-integrity to the appropriate person(s).
Get clear about the impact.
Negotiate a solution. A solution that addresses the impact to everyone’s satisfaction.
Create the new agreement or promise. Include the structure required to ensure the new agreement or promise will be kept.
KAPOW … BOOM … ZAP … The world is saved!
Anne, Hana, Maureen & Jeri,
The IEM Newsletter Team
P.S. Share with us on our Facebook Page how you saved your world by cleaning up the mess!