Integrity in the Workplace – When is it Safe to Tell it Like it is?

Like many people I hear about the importance of having integrity in your interactions with others.  Be true to yourself is a phrase that is used often.  Another is to speak your truth when interacting with others.  These are great phrases that we hear and that may have influence over our behaviour in our workplaces.  The question for me is “when is it safe to have integrity”?

We have all been in situations where a boss or co-worker has been in crisis mode and has been less than allowing for integrity to show up in a discussion or conversation.  When you are sitting in front of someone who is in crisis is that a safe time to tell it like it is?  Is that the time to be true to yourself and aligned with the principals you value? Is it even the time to bring up aligning with the vision, mission or values of the company?

These are questions to ponder regarding having integrity when things are going sideways.  As stated in a previous post integrity requires trust and respect.  When those characteristics are missing I would venture to say that is not the time to have a forthright discussion with a person whether that be a colleague or a higher up that you report to.

In the event the other person is in crisis it may be best to revisit the important issues you wish to bring up for another time when there is less emotional upheaval going in.  It has been my experience that until someone is ready and open to hear your message it falls on deaf ears.  When you feel you must say something the suggestion is that you wait for an opportune time.

In some workplaces that time may be illusive.  For those caught up in that scenario it may be best to keep your options open and find another employer that is more closely aligned with your values.


Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at