Honesty, Transparency and authenticity are endangered species, we must value and practice them to save them from extinction…
The majority of conflicts i bear witness to are the result of lies, miscommunications and hidden agendas. A lack of honesty destroys the integrity of any relationship — from coworkers, to friends, to partners. Luckily, we can improve the functionality and soundness of any relationship through the perpetual implementation of honesty.
Dishonesty between friends is something i notice regularly. Long-time friends who have bones to pick with one another but without the balls to confront the issue. When a small issue is intentionally neglected for a long period of time, the malignancy compounds before eventually growing large enough to harbour disdain between two, previously mutually admired, friends. The only way to solve this is with brutal, unimpeded honesty; white lies and the avoidance of small issues is unacceptable. Honesty is hard at first, but over time it strengthens relationships and ultimately, others will come to rely on your candour and truthfulness.
Deception with a partner is utterly foolish if you truly desire cohesive longevity. Hiding any aspect of your true self only inhibits the growth of your relationship and breaks down the bond that you’ve tried so hard to build. I know friends who hide their drug consumption, gambling, and hobbies from partners out of fear of judgement. The point in a relationship is that you admire and support each other regardless and any concealment of your true self acts as a hindrance to your growth together. If it’s truly meant to work, and they’re truly someone you should be with, then you should never have to hide anything. Bask in the vulnerability.
We could probably all do with being more honest. I personally could do with being less honest as my straight-forward, clear-cut attitude often makes others uncomfortable. Although my modus operandi makes others uncomfortable, i won’t apologise for it, i know that my friends and family can rely on me for candour and honesty at all times.
Transparency is more subtle than honesty in that you’re not so much expressing your opinion to others, but rather being open and clear about everything from the outset — regardless of the situation. Transparency is 24/7/365, honesty can be applied situationally.
Transparency can be applied to anything — you as an individual, your organisation, your finances etc. Everyone appreciates transparency as it lets them know that you’re not hiding anything. It’s refreshing, especially in the modern world where it feels like everyday starts with the announcement of some new scandal. Hedge-fund managers stealing billions, celebrities avoiding tax, governmental regimes exposed for their hypocrisy — these aren’t uncommon headlines.
Good examples of transparency are clothing companies that break down the cost of production for you, drinks brands that give you the recipe to make yourself and those rare individuals that demonstrate integrity through the vocalisation of their intentions. We value these people because transparency let’s us know we’re not being shafted; they let us trust in a world where no-one can be trusted.
Consider being transparent yourself. Talk to coworkers about your pay to ensure everyone gets a fair wage. Vocalise your intentions in work, life and play and you’ll undoubtedly be exposed to new opportunities. Be transparent and watch as others are magnetically drawn to your pristine, constant, honesty.
Authenticity is all about being the real version of you. Authenticity is the beta-release of you — the one with bugs, glitches, imperfections and the charming subtleties in your personality. Authenticity is taking how you interact with your closest mates and applying it to every situation.
LinkedIn is the antithesis to authenticity. So is Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and other sites where public persona is valued over the real version of yourself.
Real authenticity is unchanging, unwavering and ever-lasting. It’s about meeting anyone and staying true to your real personality; it’s solidifying your personality and rooting that in your interactions. Be yourself around your in-laws, talk about your nerdy addictions or views on drug laws. Be yourself around new colleagues as they’ll quickly decipher a phony personality. Be yourself at all times.
If you really want to be the best version of yourself, i highly recommend honesty, transparency and authenticity as staples of your personality. This can be tough to begin with but as your practice, it becomes easier and more rewarding.
What’s your experience with the aforementioned factors? How would you rate yourself on the different scales? Are there times when these characteristics aren’t welcome?