Quicker, faster, cheaper: in our world of instant gratification, being “honorable” isn’t always the convenient or popular thing to do. We all know people who make promises but never follow through. Maybe they say one thing because it’s easier in the moment, even when they mean another. They offer to help, but when things get tough, they’re nowhere to be found. They act one way when people are watching, only to cut corners when they think no one is looking.
At Lucas Group, we do the right thing, even when it’s not easy or popular. We aim to be honest and transparent with our communication and actions, all while holding ourselves accountable to our teammates. In other words, we strive to be honorable. Even if we only interact with a client or candidate for a few minutes, we take these opportunities seriously. This means being honest and transparent, even when the truth could jeopardize a deal. It’s better to walk away with our honor and integrity than cut corners for temporary convenience.
No matter what industry you work in, there are always opportunities to be more honorable in the workplace. These are three simple places to start:
Do what you say you’ll do. Have you ever seen a car commercial where the messaging was around dependability? There’s a reason those types of rides sell: we all want things we can rely on. This extends to our relationships with colleagues. There’s honor in being dependable. Think about someone in your office who always provides sound advice. Maybe they’re a collaborator for a project, or they’re happy to give feedback on a presentation. It doesn’t matter what your request is, you know you can depend on them to be genuine with you.If someone can come to you with a problem and you offer them solid guidance, that’s a valuable, honorable asset. It all starts with doing what you say you’ll do and building up a foundation of dependability.
Skip the office gossip. Imagine you’re chatting with a few coworkers and they share something about another colleague or a manager. You may find yourself wanting to respond and participate in the conversation. But talking behind another person’s back is never a good look. You can build honor and confidence in others by only speaking about the people involved in the conversation, or about your work or family life.Think about it from a different perspective: if they’re telling me this gossip now, what are they saying about me when I’m not around?
Don’t play the blame game– take responsibility for your mistakes. Are you full of excuses when something goes wrong, or do you own what you did? No one likes to admit they made a mistake, but it disarms the other party when you admit it. To be able to say, “You’re right, I messed this one up” takes courage, and whoever you’re telling that to will admire your honesty and straightforwardness. Of course, those conversations are only part of the battle. If you continue making the same, correctable mistakes, you’ll lose that honor quickly. However, if you use those difficult conversations as genuine learning opportunities, you’ll find your colleagues will respect you even more because of your willingness to jump headfirst into uncomfortable situations.
Working remotely? Be even more intentional in how you conduct yourself.
When working from home, conducting yourself with honor each day may seem harder. We don’t have our usual in-office interactions, like making coffee when the pot is empty or leaving a shared space better than we found it for the next person. This means we have to be even more intentional about the interactions we do have and make each one count. Join that conference call on time. Email back promptly. Take time to listen to what your colleague is really saying, rather than rushing to offer advice. In a difficult year, being dependable, honest and communicative can mean the world to your colleagues.
What makes someone honorable in your eyes? Share your story in the comments below.