I briefly referenced modeling integrity back during the Individual Feedback post, but I want to re-emphasize the importance of this as the core principal of everything you do as a leader of your team. Integrity is all about being honest and having strong moral principles. You must portray this with your team.
Morality has an ongoing definition that continues to be added to in different publications by several authors worldwide. That being said, we are a society with rules and regulations that must be adhered to. These are the underpinnings of morality at the most basic level. I like to think of morality as pertaining to fairness, justice and truth. Fairness and justice relate to impartiality and behavior without discrimination. Truth relates to what is actual or real.
Focus on the Issue, Not the Person
So how do I relate the aforementioned descriptions to integrity? Well, a good leader of teams should act as impartially as possible with all team members, whether in one-on-one scenarios or within the group at large. Regardless of the circumstances, challenges, or matters at hand, as a leader, you should be focused on the issue, not the people. While you can discuss dynamics of communications, you should always speak of others with the highest level of respect. Other team members will take this as a cue from you as the leader and follow suit.
Remember, the team is always watching you.
You Don't Have to be Perfect
Negative discussion breads negative attitudes. Your goal is to keep the team focused on executing tasks toward an objective. The team will look to you to see how you are behaving in all scenarios. This is not to say that a project or program manager is infallible by any means, but modeling behavior that is replete with integrity builds a strong foundation for the team.
Likewise, if you make mistakes as a leader, it is encouraged to admit them. Your team does not expect you to be perfect.
How can you measure if you are modeling strong integrity? If respect is demonstrated by each team member towards one another and you, you are likely doing a good job. Everyone should treat and be treated fairly. This is a key, yet often unnoticed aspect, of being a strong leader and developing team unity.
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