I am quite disturbed by the number of times I deal with businesses or individuals whose actions do not match up to the expectations set by their words; either spoken or written on some web site or training manual.
It seems that people are increasingly prepared to forget what they’ve said in order to gain a sale, a favour or some business.
In that split second decision they seem to forget that most of us can read or that we do remember what they’ve said in the past and in that split second they lose both personal integrity and our trust.
I’ve mentioned before that one of my favourite sayings is, “A lie needs a good memory,” and if we are not careful, our inconsistencies produce the same effect as a lie; they undermine trust and lead to instability in a relationship. From a business perspective, they lead to a loss of trust, loss of customers or clients and ultimately, loss of revenue, from which recovery can be a serious problem.
Why do we do it?
The reasons are many; from unintentional mistake to intentionally misleading someone.
However, the end result is the same regardless of the reason.
Living and working in a world where pressures and expectations run high, maintaining integrity can be one of the hardest tasks we face. However, it is, I believe, time and effort well-spent because I also believe that if we fail to model what we teach we lack integrity and others will clearly see the disconnection between our words and actions … and the consequences can be disastrous.
Of course the flip-side to the coin is that if we are modelling consistency and integrity in an environment where it is otherwise failing, we stand-out for all the right reasons and actually enhance our profile and/or business reputation.
So I suggest that our aim in business & our personal life should be consistency in both our message and our actions.