Avoiding the truth is a waste of time and energy, 100% of the time. The truth will always come out, whether we avoid it or not.
In the workplace, even when the consequences of the truth can be major, the repercussions of dishonesty will cause more trouble down the line.
Furthermore, getting into the habit of dishonesty will make it easier to avoid the truth in subsequent situations and snowball small issues into larger problems.
Why Is Honesty So Important?
The truth will always come out
Whether someone is lying or a mistake has been made, the truth will inevitably come out, and the consequences of delaying it can magnify the problem beyond proportions.
It makes people accountable
Honesty holds people accountable to their actions and reactions; individuals must not only be open to giving honesty, but also to receiving it.
Honesty builds trust
Telling the truth has a domino effect; coworkers build better, strong relationships, leadership begins to trust their teams to make the right decisions and employees will look to their superiors more often for help and guidance.
It’s a more ethical way of conducting business
Dishonesty can often yield quick gains, but it isn’t a sustainable business strategy or way to build relationships.
How to Highlight Honesty in the Workplace
Confront mistakes, early on
Mistakes happen, and they’re not always a bad thing. In fact, making mistakes can be good for an organization; there is always a lesson to be learned from mistakes, and they usually result in finding a better solution.
When a mistake occurs, bring it to light as soon as possible. Withholding information and trying to “clean up” the mess rarely turns out well.
Know when and how to use honesty
Yes, honesty is the best policy, but time and place are huge considerations.
If a top-tier leader introduces a new initiative during a company meeting, it’s probably not the right time or place to express your concerns, when a private meeting may be more effective.
Understand how to use honesty to achieve the best results without stepping on other people’s toes.
Embrace the truth, even when it isn’t pretty
What’s done is done, and dwelling on a setback won’t change the fact that it happened. How you react to the truth, whether good or bad is how organizations grow and flourish.
Lead by example
Leaders have to walk the talk if they have any hope of their team members doing the same.
If you’re waiting around for your team to make a change, but are not willing to put the effort in yourself, you may be waiting forever.
Do not strive for perfection
When an organization values perfectionism, it can come at the expense of honesty.
Team members striving for perfection often fear mistakes and will do anything to avoid conflict, including lie.
Create a supportive work environment that values progress, rather than perfection.
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