Insight News

Saturday
Oct 25th

Lets Be Honest

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By Julie Desmond

Making a commitment to be honest with others, about others and with yourself will not guarantee you unfettered happiness and riches, but it will win you peace of mind, a good night's rest, the respect of others and the ability to look your friends and yourself in the eye.
"As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility."
-- Nelson Mandela

Integrity, honesty, humility. Three powerful facets of character. Every honest word, every promise kept, propels each of us forward toward success, toward great accomplishments. Conversely, a broken promise, a failure to deliver, even a little white lie drives us in the opposite direction. While most people think of themselves as generally truthful, a closer reflection reveals that we all fall down occasionally. Consider the three areas where the power of your word is most profound: with others, about others and toward yourself.

Practice honesty with others, even in casual conversations. "We should do lunch," people always say. Set a date and time for that lunch and you will be a
step ahead in your relationship with someone; you will be perceived as someone who can be relied upon, someone who puts actions behind your words. If you make an appointment, keep it – or have an excellent reason for not doing so. If you accept an assignment, complete it as well as you can.

Recently, newspapers have been teeming with articles about steroid-crazed athletes and executives-gone-wild. Often company leaders seem to have found a loophole, acting irresponsibly, but not with outright dishonesty. As we've seen repeatedly, shortcuts, loopholes and skirting the law can matter a great deal, taking down even otherwise good leaders in a shroud of career-ending embarrassment and legal entanglements. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be honest in your words, of course, but also in your actions.

Commit to honesty regarding other people. If your boss had to warn you about arriving late to work, whose fault is that, really? Spreading anger by complaining about your boss to others makes one person in particular look bad, and it isn't your boss. Respect conversation for the amazing tool that it is: gossip can poison relationships and create distrust while a positive conversation can bring people together. Be aware that people often raise their own esteem by trampling those around them, and use good judgment when conversing about people who are not nearby to speak for themselves. Ask yourself, "Is it kind? Is it true?" If the comment you are about to make doesn't measure up on these two counts, bite your tongue and walk away. Whatever you say about others will reflect on you – negatively or positively, you decide.

And finally, but most importantly, as Nelson Mandela tells us, "Be honest with yourself." Be truthful about your gifts and abilities. Put aside the negative self talk that impedes your success. If you were told as a child you'd never amount to much, consider the person you are today. You have skills, talents and potential. Try to assess yourself with fairness. Not one of us is perfect, but within each of us is excellence, giftedness and great possibility.

Making a commitment to be honest with others, about others and with yourself will not guarantee you unfettered happiness and riches, but it will win you peace of mind, a good night's rest, the respect of others and the ability to look your friends and yourself in the eye.

Julie Desmond is an executive recruiter with Hunter Hamilton Professional Resources in Minneapolis. Write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

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