Find the HEART of Effective Business Communication #1: Honesty matters. Honest it does!

Everyone knows honesty is the best policy – and yet there are so many ways we have been taught and encouraged to be dishonest. Character-based Communicators embrace honesty because it’s right, freeing and effective. 


The truth about truth spoken with HEART. Character-based Communication is honest.

Honesty graphic

One true thing that doesn’t change

Honesty has been, is, and will continue to be the most valued leadership quality in the workplace. That is one true thing that doesn’t change. I could stop now, and have told you something very significant, but I’ll continue.

Employees need to be able to trust people they support. Without trust, motivation is lost. No one likes being lied to. No one likes being manipulated. No one likes being deceived.

Whether you have the word “leader” in your title or not, without honesty, your words are worthless. If your communication is ego or personality-based instead of being Character-based, you might be able to fool some of the people some of the time. You might be able to influence a few people who figure your dishonesty will serve them somehow. You might get away with it for a while. But you will never have the influence you will garner by speaking truth with HEART.

What honesty isn’t

Honesty isn’t dumping. Character-based Communicators don’t tell someone a thing or two about a thing or two to get it off their chest and excuse it by saying they were simply being honest. Honesty is spoken sincerely – with HEART.

Honesty isn’t simply not lying. It’s possible to deceive and mislead without lying, but it’s not possible to deceive and mislead while being honest. Character-based Communicators do more than avoid lying.

Honesty isn’t uniformity. Character-based Communicators will be different with different people. They’re still honest.

Honesty isn’t fanatical. Character-based Communicators don’t throw caution to the wind and bare their souls at every moment. They don’t feel the need to right every wrong in the world – just the wrongs that matter and that they are responsible for.

Honesty isn’t for wimps. You can feel completely exposed. You can be tempted to revert when you realize the truth is inconvenient. You will find there are people who prefer a fake you to a real one, no matter how graceful you are with your honesty. Character-based Communicators don’t let public opinion dictate whether they will be honest or not.

Getting real is tougher than you might imagine

Honesty is authenticity. It’s being real, human, accessible and genuine. It’s about dropping the mask and showing the human behind it. That’s tough for those among us who worked so hard to create a perfect persona. It’s amazing how challenging it can be to get honest. Character-based Communicators meet that challenge regularly. They continually get more honest as they get closer and closer to the HEART of communication.

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