You may have heard the statement, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” But the truth is, research has shown time and again that people are more honest when they know they’re being watched. A recent study found that installing theft-detection software in restaurants led to a 7 percent revenue increase, on average. Ironically, this wasn’t a result of firing workers caught stealing. Rather, it was from the changed behavior of the employees, who knew they were being monitored.
Most of us see ourselves as accountable, but consider the following five scenarios that many of us encounter regularly. Honestly, how do you stack up?
1. When you’re running late for a meeting, do you pretend a prior meeting or phone call went long when really you were watching the latest YouTube sensation?
2. Do you return your grocery cart to the corral or just leave it and hope that it doesn’t roll into the side of someone’s car?
3. Are you sneaking endless mini-Snickers, rather than stick with your stated plan of two-a-day?
4. In a public restroom, when you dry your hands then toss the paper towel and it hits the dirty floor, do you automatically pick it up or quickly skedaddle out?
5. When you’re shopping and looking through a rack of clothes, if something falls off a hanger – and something ALWAYS seems to fall off the hanger — do you pick it up, pretend it didn’t happen or say, “That’s someone else’s job”?
These are relatively small things, but it’s with these simple scenarios that we lay the foundation for how we behave in the bigger things in life. Ever heard, “How we do something is how we do everything”?
So again I’ll ask you, are you accountable to what you say is your truth? Do you walk your talk –whether or not you’re being watched?