Posted in leadership, self-improvement, spiritual/religious

Be, Tell, or Feel Integrity

Would you rather be, hear or feel integrity?  I’ll admit, I had to think about this question a bit before I decided my answer. Emerson wrote that actions speak louder than words.  Is that still through in this age of the 5 second sound byte?

Interpersonal integrity, the ability to relate to others in an authentic matter than builds trust, is a crucial skill for more than politicians. Today, leaders need to use “be”, “tell” and “feel” to influence others.

  1. Who we are speaks louder than our words once others have the opportunity to see you in action (Be).
  2. The messages we use to let people know where we stand and what we believe (Tell).
  3. The connections we make with others to form a connection, to understand, accept and appreciate others (Feel).

People say this is why we still admire Gandhi. He was never of two minds. What he thought, he felt. What he felt, he said. While it is true we are not Gandhi, there are three questions we can ask that will help us be congruent in our words, actions, and feelings:

  1. What areas of my performance are not aligned?  (Where are the gaps between my promises and my daily actions?)
  2. What can I legitimately and ethically do to show my appreciation and admiration?
  3. How can I assure the quality of my performance and relationships? (Where can I improve?)

Reference: Randy Pennington. (2009). On My Honor I Will: The Journey to Integrity-Driven Leadership. Dallas, Texas: Penland Scott Publishers


For a list of Sheila’s books, check out



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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