Honesty is sharing how you really feel about something. There is more to it than "always telling the truth" or not lying.

So why is it so hard to be honest? Sometimes it hurts peoples feelings. They might get mad at you or not like you as much. It is risky. It often exposes how you really feel- which can make you feel vulnerable.

Dishonesty and deception might also provide short-term advantage and power in business and personal relationships. But recently, there is an emphasis on transparency in business ethics. Apparently, we are tired of people lying to us. Honesty is hugely powerful in creating long-term business and personal relationships. People find honesty refreshing. They are looking for someone to be straight with them.

Now obviously it may not be best to honestly tell your boss that you have little respect for him. A little discernment can go a long way. It is most effective to discern each individual experience. When someone shares something, ask yourself, "Why are they saying to me? Why are they sharing that with me?" That defines the nature of your honesty. You can always tell when someone really wants to know what you think. Then it is natural to be honest.

And it is essential to examine the parameters of the relationship. What is your role? It is likely part of your job or relationship to share what you think. So ask yourself, "What is the intention of this meeting or interaction? Does my role include pointing out discrepancies- even if they are not popular?" Then it is your duty to be honest.

I have found it best for me to error on the side of honesty. Sometimes it stirs things up and rocks the boat. Maybe the boat needs to be rocked.

And yes, you may take some hits for it. But isn't it nice to know that you said your piece? That you were honest? That you maintained your integrity?

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