Conversations with Integrity
In recent weeks, my husband Perry and I have had more conversations than normal. When all was “right” with the world—or so we mistakenly thought—things were fairly quiet in Jenuwin Perrydise, the name we affectionately call our humble abode. However, lately we have been engrossed in dialogue about injustice and our future.
We wonder what kinds of conversations are happening in other homes. We read in the news about a couple who mistakenly launched a social media livestream during their private exchange with each other. They realized, only many minutes later, the things they said—perspectives they may not have meant to share—went public. Oh my, what if…?!
We have numerous smart devices in our house; without naming brands, you may have some of these yourself. If so, you know they answer questions and provide information following a spoken name or command. However, even without our prompting, I imagine these devices “listening” to our entire discussions. It reminds me of a statement we have often used at work as a litmus test of communication integrity: “Imagine if what you said around the water cooler was a headline on the front page of a major newspaper.” Our smart devices serve as figurative newspaper headlines, reminding Perry and me to be impeccable with our words.
As always, and especially in times like these, we must walk our talk. It is too easy to allow gossip, assumptions, and a lack of empathy to infiltrate our private conversations. Rather, we must seek the truth and be informed both with data and by our hearts. I like to picture any person I’m speaking about as standing right in front of me as I verbally share my thoughts. Many of you who know me have heard me say, “Whatever I say about someone, I either have already said to them or I will soon, now that I have voiced it.”
Minding the gap between our private selves and our public identity is imperative for leadership. Taking responsibility for what we say in the privacy of our homes is like practicing for our outer-world interactions. I can say with certainty that, at Jenuwin Perrydise, we are being more and more conscious about speaking with integrity…or so we believe, “Alexa, what say you?” (reminder: she’s a SMART device!)
This Week: Imagine the conversations you are having at home being front page of the news. How might this change them? Contemplate your private versus public discussions, and then write down 5 words that might best describe the private ones. Do those words depict what you want others to know about you? If not, here’s a thought: Write down 5 words you want others to know about you. Now, with that intention, how might your private conversations shift so that you always show up authentically?
In Next Week’s Post: Executive presence
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