A basic definition of “honest” is truthful, being free from deception. Yet James Foust once said, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living and truth loving.” I love this quote, because in the Tilt model, Honest is in the Courage quadrant, which is all about action — and I feel like this describes “honest” in action. It certainly can take great courage at times to be honest, especially in a space where you are a lone voice. Yet being honest helps build self-respect and supports positive relationships with others.
Like most everything, we must first start with ourselves. What does it take to be honest with yourself? It starts with curious self-observation without judgment. It requires letting go of insecurities and fear. It means that you own your actions, and when you realize that you’ve made a misstep, you take action to correct or address that misstep. When you take the long-term view of building integrity and honesty, you improve the choices you make in the short term.
This week’s Challenge: This week, I will notice and retract any missteps immediately and gracefully.
Avoiding being Blunt (overuse): When telling the truth becomes rude, then you’re overusing the strength of honesty. Being a bit blunt every once in a while is actually OK, because it can make people sit up and pay attention if it’s out of character for you. But if you are too blunt or blunt too often, then you can trigger protective behavior in others. It seems that some people wear the rudeness badge with pride, saying, “I’m not rude, I’m just honest.” If they say that, then chances are they are both rude and honest… and there is a way to be honest without being rude. The key is to be real and be kind — to consider context and the other’s point of view before sharing information. This isn’t to help you determine whether you share that information, but rather how you share that information.
Commendable Trait: Honest
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