I am not smart enough to tell different versions of a story to different people and keep them straight, and neither or you. You might think you are, but people notice. I hate when I realize that someone is giving me a new and different version of something they’ve told me before. Sometimes the details are minuscule, this time they said-this but last time they said that. Ughhh…. It makes me reconsider the whole story. It makes me question why they are modifying. It makes me question – are they an honest person?
When this happens with someone that I admire and respect, I give more grace than I would with someone that I have no history with. I excuse it and hope they are experiencing a lapse of memory. “There are a lot of details and things going on in their day to day life”, I excuse. But I listen a little more closely the next time they speak.
“Honesty is the best policy.” Honesty is always the best policy.
It’s not always comfortable. It doesn’t always cast you in the best light, but in the long run, its the most straight forward path to being a person that people admire and trust in business relationships and personal relationships.
I haven’t run this as an experiment, but I imagine that its impossible to manage business relationships ‘dishonestly and personal relationships honestly. You take you everywhere you go, and eventually What’ ‘you allow in one part of your life will to start to seep into the other.
I am constantly meeting new people, new teams. Sometimes I am meeting them to work together on a one-year project and sometimes I am leading them through a one day class.
The fastest way for me to engage with a new team is to show them that I am honest and transparent and the best way for me to show them that I am honest and transparent is to actually be honest and transparent.
The nice-part about it for me, is that I get to just be me. The hard part for me is, if there are some things about myself or about my performance or preparation that are not so great, I have got to own it.
Being honest and transparent means that you must own your stuff, sometimes in front of people. It’s like you are on a truthful reality show. If things were not good because you missed the mark, that is the story. And when you tell it, everybody already knows it. And it will be much better than you wondering who knows it, and who might share it behind your back.
Being honest about your challenges ultimately helps you grow. If you are not truthful with others about your participation in an event, you are not being 100% truthful with yourself. If you are not 100% truthful with yourself. you cannot fix your part of whatever it is you do not like and want to hide.
Is there a part of your life at home or at work that you do not like how you are showing up? Survey yourself. It can be anonymous, . Ask – What am I doing well? What am I not doing well? How can I improve my performance in this situation? Endeavor to write no one elses name as an answer on this survey. What specifically can you do? What is your part? Be honest; you are talking to yourself.
Now try that same mode of thought when you are preparing for a conversation about a challenging topic. People will notice. They will engage with you more authentically.
When you give off honesty and transparency vibes people will match that energy. That is so freeing and productive. No need to dance around for hours or days not talking about the real thing.
If you live this way, good for you. If you don’t, just try it and see if you like it; trust me, we that have to deal with you will love it.