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What’s more important – authenticity or integrity?

What’s more important – being authentic or having integrity?

It’s a tough question but I bet you have a gut reaction. Hold on to that. We’ll return to it later.

Let’s start with some definitions.

Authenticity refers to being genuine and transparent in your beliefs and actions. It requires self-awareness and the willingness to show vulnerability, imperfection, and uniqueness.

Authentic people prioritize being true to themselves above seeking approval or validation from others.

When you’re authentic, you live in alignment with your values.

Integrity, on the other hand, is about adhering to moral and ethical principles, being honest and truthful in your dealings with others, and showing consistency in your actions, decisions, and behaviour.

It’s about keeping your word and doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. Integrity means being accountable for your actions.

When you have integrity, you’re reliable and trustworthy.

Both share the quality of honesty. However, I’d argue authentic honesty is more self-directed (true to yourself) whereas integrity honesty is more other-directed (adhering to moral and ethical values).

Self-awareness is critical to living authentically and with integrity. Authentic self-awareness requires knowing yourself – what you value – so you can live in accordance with what’s important to you. Integrity self-awareness derives from your moral character, what you’ve absorbed from external ethical or religious principles.

While authenticity expresses your genuine identity, integrity emphasizes accountability, reliability, and consistency.

To sum up, authenticity comes from within, as it’s internally driven, whereas integrity develops from without, having an external orientation.

Both authenticity and integrity are essential to building trust, fostering meaningful relationships, and living a life of purpose and fulfillment.

  • If you want connection, a fundamental human need, you do it by being trustworthy and trusting others.
  • To nurture relationships, you must practise openness with others and be reliable in your dealings too.

Yin and yang. You need both.

How do you balance being true to yourself with adhering to moral and ethical principles?

Nature provides clues.

Last summer, my son and I discovered a huge eagle’s nest at the back of a large pond when we went kayaking. We saw a mama and papa raising an eaglet in this secluded area. One parent stayed behind in the nest to take care of the eaglet while the other hunted for food.

Diving for fish in Georgian Bay reflects the true nature of an eagle. This is authenticity. He doesn’t question if he should hunt; he hunts, plain and simple.

At the same time, the eagle uses that fish to feed the eaglet. The eagle shows integrity by doing what’s right even in the face of (fish) temptation.

You can “be” authentic and “do” (or show) integrity. Being and doing form the foundation of the co-active coaching model I use. Being deepens understanding while doing forwards the action.

To deepen understanding, start with authenticity. Here are a few ways to cultivate it:

  • Honour Your Values
  • Set Boundaries
  • Express Gratitude
  • Practise Self-Acceptance
  • Engage in Self-Expression
  • Practise Mindfulness

And here are some avenues to forward the action of integrity:

  • Define Your Values
  • Set Clear Standards
  • Act with Consistency
  • Practise Accountability
  • Lead by Example
  • Engage in Self-Reflection

In the end, it’s all about connection – connecting internally to who you are and externally to those around you. Internal connection fosters authenticity. External connection builds integrity.

Back to your gut reaction: did you choose authenticity or integrity? Chances are, the one you chose is how you lead first. If you chose authenticity, you likely lead with “being.” Integrity leads with “doing.”

Happy tidings,


Header Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.