Integrity – ‘The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.’
Anyone who has lived, has some interesting stories to tell. I’ve not lived the most thrilling of lives. But I still have my integrity questioned when recalling interesting stories.
This has probably happened to you. Or maybe you have see it happening first hand to someone else. Especially those who tell an enthusiastic and entertaining story.
They have to be exaggerating, right?
Why? Who are you to guess, or even say you ‘know’ they are not being truthful. It can be quite offensive to be told you’re not telling the truth, when you actually are.
We’re not helped by being fed all kinds of exaggerated, or outright false stories by news outlets. As well as pranks, marketing ploys and another misleading information.
But one someone is personally tell you a story one-to-one, think about biting your tongue before calling false.
Because no matter how crazy the story, and how unlikely it would be to you. How can you say it didn’t happen?
With that in mind, I have written up some ways to deal with people being calling out your integrity when recalling experiences, stories, and events.
9 Ways to Maintain Your Integrity in Trying Situations
Don’t Exaggerate When You’re Explaining Something
It’s very easy to exaggerate. Almost all of us do so without even knowing it. We don’t mean bad by it, or to try and mislead anyone. But it comes naturally.
Everyone likes a good story teller, and adding a little to make it more fun is so easy. As well as more rewarding when we get more interest from the listeners.
Practice is the answer here if you need to adjust your speaking style. Focus in stone cold facts without the exaggeration.
Don’t Guess, Be Factual
It can be hard to recall all the details of a story. Especially if it was a few years ago, nothing to be ashamed of there.
But state that you cannot remember certain points. Stick to the facts you can remember, and don’t fill the holes.
It can make or break a story forgetting a key point. But that’s on you.
Don’t Get Defensive When Questioned
Telling a story isn’t just a one way process. People will have questions and points they want to make.
Don’t get defensive when you’re questioned. IT doesn’t automatically mean they don’t believe you. You will just look guilty, instead be open and assume the best.
You Don’t Need to Make the Stories More Exciting
If you get a reputation for making your stories more exciting not only will people always expect exciting stories.
But they will eventually start questioning you as it’s unlikely you can always be involved in exciting events.
Keep your integrity, no matter the reaction you get.
It’s OK to Be Sceptical
If you here some news, or a story, and you want to tell it to others. It’s ok to be sceptical, but do some research,
Don’t just take something as fact with little to no evidence. You’re responsible for what you repeat, so act responsibly.
If You Don’t Know Something, Say So
If you are not the kind of person who can admit when they don’t know something, it’s time to become one.
Claiming to know something when you don’t will almost certainly come back to haunt you at some point, so don’t do it.
Front up About Any Errors You Make
The quickest way to warm people to you is to be honest about any mistakes you make and upfront about it.
You don’t need to make a massive deal about it. But honesty is always the best policy, never shy away from it.
Don’t Make Everything About You
Be careful about spending too much time talking about you. People who do this come across very disingenuous, and disinterested in other people.
Try and involve listeners in your stories. Turn them into conversations everyone has a chance to be part of and enjoy. If you hear yourself saying the word ‘I’ every other sentence, take a step back and think about this.
Stay Focused and on Topic
So you know the all right ways to keep your integrity when discussing or telling stories. You’re honest, you speak well, and you have people listening with intent.
Another key point is to stay on topic. If you wander in and out of topic you’re going to lose people. They will start to question if you’re telling the truth as you’re all over the place.
If you’re bad at delivering information, practice. Seriously, practice at home, in front of the mirror, whatever you need to do. Everything can be refined with practice.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.