Does integrity matter to you? What if I told you that there’s a word so powerful in the english language, that from this day forward, it will forever be an indicator of personal integrity and a powerful tool to create more personal power?
Are you listening? Are you paying attention? Are you taking it in with openness to truly hear, see and know the data points of WHO they are?
Do you listen to your own words and question the meaning behind the choice of one word or another?
There is ONE WORD in the English language that holds all of the power behind the words, thoughts and actions ever taken. That word is:
“Because” is a conjunction: a connector word that helps us to put 2 or more groups of thoughts together to create a link between them.
“I left the meeting early because I wasn’t feeling well”
Anything BEFORE the word “Because” denotes a status of the intention or result currently being discussed.
Everything AFTER the word “Because” tells you what you need to know about the person making the statement (data point for reference).
What someone says after “because” is extremely powerful information. It lets you know the mindset you’re dealing with. Is it:
- An excuse?
- A reason?
- An emotion?
- Insight into how they see themselves?
How to power up “BECAUSE” for better integrity
In our modern world we prefer to think logically instead of acknowledging feeling.
Excuses feed powerlessness, reasons feed self-justification – both of these have disempowering emotions motivating the behaviour/thought. Negative emotion is painful BECAUSE it it an example of a choice, experience or learning that is not in alignment with the blueprint of who we want to be (and how we want to be seen). Accepting excuses, reasons and negative emotions in a conversation without turning them into something positive and empowering sets the stage for drama instead of results.
Placing the word “I am ” after “because” forces the speaker to make a statement of personal identity and their level of personal integrity. (Why your integrity matters)
An extremely powerful integrity-building exercise
Do this with yourself to level up how you show up in the world.
The “I am” statement you instinctively make will either be in integrity with who you believe you are or are not. THIS is where true personal power happens because:
“Integrity with self = Personal Fulfilment (the very best cure against stress, depression, anxiety, absenteeism, etc). “
“I left the meeting early because I am …. ”
We can all feel under the weather at times, but any decision we ever take in life comes down to who we think we are (and what behaviour that gives us permission to do).
- “I left the meeting early because I am … impeccable with my word / someone who always does my best…. “
See? Not in integrity, right?
- “I left the meeting early because I am … ok with not always doing what the team needs from me… “
Probably not something we would put on a billboard, but definitely an accurate statement for most people.
Once you make the post-because “I am” statement, you can feel into it and decide for yourself whether that is a behaviour that represents WHO YOU WANT TO BE, and change your behaviour accordingly.
How to make “BECAUSE” a transformative word in your organisation & team
You can also empower better identity-based integrity in the people around you.
Listen out for the word “because” when your colleagues and team mates are talking to you. Which of the 4 above are they offering you as a data point about them? (Excuse, reason, emotion, identity insight)
As a leader, your role is:
Here’s how you easily do that:
- Acknowledge what they’ve told you,
- Thank them for their honesty,
- Identify their resourceful skills, and how the behaviour is asynchronous with past-behaviour
- BECAUSE (the following creates identity-based integrity)
- Bring awareness to the empowered identity you want them to connect to, and
- Place the ownership of responsibility of success back on them with a new powerful question:
- “I understand that you weren’t feeling well, and that it was incredibly unpleasant,
- and I thank you for your honesty.
- I’ve seen you plough through bigger obstacles, so it surprised me to see you leave early,
- I know you to be diligent and resilient.
- I’m wondering how we might avoid losing you mid-meeting next time this happens? What would you suggest?
In the example above, you’ll notice that everything BEFORE “because” is acknowledging the current status (result). What comes immediately AFTER “because” is highlighting insight into how you see them (the positive characteristics of their identity that you are empowering them to access).
Now, it’s your turn. Print out the post-its below, place them at your workspace and start listening for insight and leading from the heart. Remember to connect with me with the wins and transformations you’ve noticed.