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.
- 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.