“When what you say do and think is consistent with your conscience ”
That definition stolen from a friend has stood me in good stead for the last 18 odd years. Being a trainer and teaching people about values and discussing how their values define them I have found that although people say that honesty and integrity is important to them, the difference is obvious. I ask people to make a list of their 5 most important values and then prioritize them from most to least important. Its amazing how seldom honesty feature in the top 3.
Honesty and integrity seems to be dependent to whom and what you are in relationship with. Our values differ for each relationship but we like to think that they are all the same, they are not.
In that sense then we have an expectancy of honesty and integrity way different than we would like to think.
What is also important to realize and I have seen this in working with numerous people on values, your definition of values are not the same as other people’s. Conflict is derived from those differences that we have about our values and their meaning.
When next you have a discussion and are disagreeing with someone about being honest , loving, compassionate etc, ask them to explain what that word means to them.