It’s easy to attribute “fake news” just to the president or national news outlets, but more and more people are guilty of similar transgressions in their everyday speech. It doesn’t start with big things – equivalent to who will pay for a wall – rather minor falsehoods that we utter without thought.

Examples include:

  • Promising to send a report out tomorrow, but it doesn’t arrive until several days later
  • Telling your partner: “I’ll take care of that tomorrow” but failing to do so.
  • Warning your child: “If you don’t come here by the time I count to three, I’ll…” but not following through on the consequences
  • Saying “I’ll be there at 9:00” and walking in at 9:10

None of these scenarios would seem outside the norm but all contribute to a collection of words that are spoken with intention but not outcomes. Over time, it causes others not to take you at your word or believe what you tell them.

Whether said with well-meaning or not, think twice before giving definitive declarations of what you will or will not do. Filter your speech as if you were a fact-checker. How much of what you say do you actually follow up on and how much is good intentions without the action behind it?

Your integrity begins with your words.

Image by Hattcina on Pixabay



Image by Hattcina on Pixabay

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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