Posts Tagged ‘honesty’

Honor Before Honesty Every Time

Words do matter.  Take for example the words honor and honesty.  Which word appeals to you more than the other?

For me, honor is a far stronger word both emotionally and intellectually.  Honesty, beyond being overused like many other words in society, has less emotional intelligence and less intellectual depth.

In a recent conversation with a colleague, he suggested the word honesty is a better word than honor.  My response was honesty is much like being efficient, doing things right.  Honor is more akin to being effective, doing the right thing.  To be honorable always suggests one is honest. However being honest does not mean one is always honorable.

The difference can also be explain through the actions of public officials.  Yes in many instances they are following the law, being efficient and therefore being honest in the application of the law. Unfortunately following the law is not always effective and hence does not always reflect honor.

Locally here the county officials wanted to make up budget shortfalls and one of the suggestions was to consider closing the rural libraries.  Possibly this action was honest yet with high illiteracy rates and a workforce lacking many necessary reading and writing skills, this proposed action was not filled with honor.

Yes there is a distinct line between honor and honesty. Many cross that line every day without even thinking.

I am reminded of Socrates Three Filters when it comes to the difference between these words.

  1. Is what you say kind?
  2. Is what you say truthful?
  3. Is what you say necessary?

For it is that third filter where honor and honesty may clash.  We can speak honest words, but are those words truly necessary?  Are they honorable?

When we invest the time to think about the words we think, speak and write, we can change our results for the better. Possibly you may have never considered the differences between honor and honesty. Now with a potential different perspective and even some additional clarity, you may begin to reflect not only upon these words, but others as well.

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Sales Leadership – The Talent of Attitude Toward Honesty

Mention the word salesmen and honesty and those who believe in authentic sales leadership are already swimming upstream.  There has been so much bad press (Bernie Madoff), negatively shared experiences about dishonest sales people (used car salespeople) admitting you are in a sales leadership role is for some a courageous action.

This morning in reading a another blog by another sales consultant, Jim Keenan, I was again reminded about the relationship of attitude toward honesty and it being a choice.

We can choose to be honest or choose not to be honest.

Several weeks ago I shared in several of my social media accounts this Yiddish proverb:

A half truth is still a whole lie.

In the business, especially in sales leadership roles,  consistently displaying an attitude toward honesty is a must choice behavior. This attitude is truly the capacity to examine one’s own view toward honesty and how that fits into the structure and order in society. Additionally, it encompasses the level of self esteem relative to accepting the consequences of our actions or inactions including the reporting of the dishonesty of others.

Within the Innermetrix Attribute Index, a professional and personal performance appraisal tool, people who display a high attitude toward honesty have:

 “a positive image of the concept of honesty, structure and order in society.  They have sufficient self-esteem to accept the consequences of being honest and the condemnation associated with reporting the dishonesty of others.  They will not become so involved with others that they won’t report any inappropriate actions.”

Those who do not have this capacity or attribute may have:

“an unclear view of honesty, or someone who gets so involved with others that are overly reluctant to report any dishonest actions.”

Again life is all about the choices we make and the willingness to live with the consequences of those choices. Nowhere is this more evident on a daily basis than in sales especially for so many small business owners who need to increase sales, but are concerned about balancing their own capacities with the needs of the customers both external (paying clients) and internal (employees).

Do I take this sale even though it is probably not the best solution for the client, but I do need to make my sales goals?

Do I tell the client the truth, someone in the organization dropped the ball and this is why his or her product is not being delivered as originally promised?

Do I walk away from a great sale because my gut is telling me this is not going to end well. 

People who fear the consequences probably also fear the truth. Additionally, from their past experiences, this attitude or habit of thought toward honesty potentially declines and enters the justification area of the brain.

We all have heard “It’s Okay, everyone else does it.”

Many young people appear to believe it is Okay to cheat to be dishonest according to research.  In 2006, a study of over 5,300 students in 54 institutions revealed that 56% of the MBA students admitted to cheating compared to 54% in engineering,  48% in education and 45% in law school.  What was also revealing in instead of accepting the consequences, some of the respondents blamed the universities for not doing enough to stop cheating and the “pressure cooker” atmosphere, high stakes environment.  Personal accountability was never discussed.

No it is not okay to lie, to be dishonest.

Honesty is still the best policy even if it may cost you a sale, a higher grade on a test or even a job.

Part of the reason so many employers are having difficulty with finding the right employees is because so many fail to have a strong attitude toward honesty. They have been conditioned by their educational and life experiences that to lie even though it is just a little bit, to fudge the truth is Okay, no one will know the difference.

For those in small business to large business who consistently demonstrate this sales leadership talent of an attitude toward honesty, they may not have the most sales, the most money in the bank, but they will have their own self respect. And that my dear readers cannot be bought at any price.

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