2. Self-Regulation

2.2 Trustworthiness

The second attribute of Self-Regulation is trustworthiness. You are trustworthy if you:

  • Behave ethically and above reproach
  • Build trust through your reliability and authenticity
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Confront unethical actions of others
  • Take tough, principled stands even if they are unpopular.

About Trustworthiness

Can you imagine a life without trust?

On one hand, that is a good thing – it is why we lock our front doors and pull Malania-eyes when Donald Trump makes a speech. The flip side is that, without trust, we would be paralysed by inaction. Trust is an essential part of life.

And yet trustworthiness is such a delicate commodity. From days gone by similar to Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding to current celebs persuading us that we need lighter skin/ butt implants / penis enlargements, we have grown weary and distrustful.

Harness your scepticism with our Critical Thinking course while learning how to act with integrity, in line with your values, and guided by an inner moral sense of what is right. Being someone who does the right thing will make you stand out from the crowds like a true Dux tertiary student.

Ethics and Ethical Behaviour

A (wo)man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world.”   Albert Camus

When you behave ethically, you evaluate the moral implications of your actions in any given situation. Applicable in both your personal and work relationships, ethical behaviour is evidenced through integrity, transparency, honesty, and fairness. It respects the dignity, diversity, and rights of individuals and groups of people.

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”   Potter Stewart


A (wo)man who lacks reliability is utterly useless.”   Confucius
After that pearl of wisdom from such a wise man, is there even anything else that we need to say? Dux doesn’t back down from a challenge though, so here we go…

If you say you are going to join your friends for a date, how often do you cancel or reschedule? As mobile phones have made on-the-spot communication easier, so society has become more and more commitment-phobic. It is all too easy to change plans when something better comes up. Doing it by text even shelters ditchers from the ditchees' disappointment.

This epidemic of constant cancelling and rescheduling has made being reliable a valuable quality. A quality that will make you stand out and highlight your trustworthiness:

Reliability is the precondition for trust.”   Wolfgang Schauble

Download some additional reading on the topic of reliability HERE

From now on, pledge to not make any promises unless you will keep them. Commit to yourself that if you say you are going to do something, you do it.


Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let out true selves be seen.” Brene Brown

Hands up if you know someone who acts one way in private with you, but then changes completely when surrounded by an in-crowd? Isn’t it maddening? Don’t they make you feel betrayed? Does it seem dishonest?

Authenticity means being true to who you are. Or even being true to who you want to be. Either way, it is genuine, honest, and comes from within. Authenticity requires vulnerability.

Think about self-help books that you have read. Why did some make more of an impact on you than others? Was it because the author’s way of writing connected with you? This is an example of authenticity.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that the other authors aren’t being authentic – they (hopefully!) resonated with other readers. Dita Von Teese famously pointed out that, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

When you are living authentically, you won’t be everybody’s cup o' tea. But by being true to yourself, you will attract the kind of people who will be good for you.

To be authentic, you need to align yourself to your values and goals all. the. time. Do not give in when faced with conformity and mediocrity. Don’t trade authenticity for approval. “Ignore the critics… Only mediocrity is safe from ridicule.” DvT

Admit Your Mistakes

As an authentic individual, you will have no choice but to admit your mistakes. A bonus is that it is only possible to grow and improve yourself when you can pinpoint your errors and then work to rectify them.

No-one is perfect, but how you handle your mistakes is the difference between surviving and thriving. As an emotionally intelligent Dux, you will use your mistakes as learning opportunities.

What you may not realise is that by admitting your mistakes, you not only lift up yourself, but you allow others to feel more comfortable about their own mistakes. Your vulnerability can inspire those around you to take ownership of their mistakes and rise above them.

Confronting Unethical Behaviour

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”   Desmond Tutu

If the Arch said it, it's a gem! Seriously, though, being a passive spectator in life is not living. Being trustworthy, ethical, reliable, and authentic is easy when things are going swimmingly. A true test of your emotional intelligence is what you do in sticky situations.

Can you stand up for what you believe is right in the face of adversity?

Not every fight needs to be fought. However, when you become aware of someone behaving unethically, do you have the courage to call them out? It can be risky. It will make you unpopular. But perhaps a better question is, can you afford not to call unethical offenders out?

Before you fight the good fight, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I know enough about the situation?
  • Are the behaviours of the offender a matter of opinion or fact?
  • Do I have proof?
  • How can I handle this in a non-confrontational, win-win manner?
  • If #4 is not possible, how far am I willing to take this?

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”   Dante Alighieri

Making Unpopular Decisions

As social creatures, we humans tend to have a pack mentality. We want to fit in, be liked, get approval. This has tremendous benefits to the survival of our species and boosts the pleasure in our lives.

However, it can be dangerous if we value approval above all else. When no one steps up to the plate to hold their “pack” to a moral standard, the decline of society rapidly snowballs. It is too easy to justify doing what we know is not right when everyone around us is doing the same thing.

Again with Dita Von Teese (girlcrush p’chance?) “It might take just as much effort to fit in as it does to stand out, because you're standing up for yourself. It's those who take a risk and take chances who achieve greatness. Those who play it safe never can.”

As a trustworthy Dux, we rely on you to make principled decisions - however contrary, unpopular, and tough they are. Doing the right thing – the thing that aligns with your values – is the only path to enlightenment.

Tip: If your decision is truly principled and your pack rebel – find a better pack.


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