When I was thinking about a particular Word of the Week, a song popped into my head.
While you may or may not be a Billy Joel fan, these lyrics took me on a journey of deeper understanding and really got me thinking.
“If you search for tenderness
It isn’t hard to find
You can have the love you need to live
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind
It always seems to be so hard to give
Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you”
Billy Joel 1978
What do you think?
Is honesty what we all need, and is it hard to find?
How many relationships have you had with businesses or people throughout your life?
Probably too many to count, as we all have.
When you enter a relationship with a business or a person, what are key traits or attributes you look for?
My guess is, if you really think about it, honesty would be at the top of that list.
Now, what would cause or has caused you to end relationships – both personal and professional?
My guess would be that honesty – or lack of honesty – would top that list, too.
I’m sure many of us have had personal relationships that ended because the person we were involved with wasn’t honest.
I’m also confident that most of us have had relationships with businesses that ended badly when we discovered we weren’t being treated honestly or fairly.
But how much do we take honesty into consideration when we are dealing with people in our own lives? Because it goes both ways!
We look for it in others, but do we hold ourselves to the same standard?
Honesty on the personal side is obviously important. But honesty and building trust in our business relationships should be just as much of a priority.
Then there is honesty with ourselves…
We are all a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses, traits and habits, mindset and behaviors – both conscious and subconscious.
How honest are we about who we are – warts and all?
When we aren’t able to be honest with ourselves about those things, we hold ourselves back from being the best we can be.
Sometimes, inability to be honest with ourselves can even change the course of our lives and businesses – and not in a good way.
If we aren’t honest with ourselves about our weaknesses, those weaknesses can drag us down in terms of time and energy.
If we aren’t honest about trouble with our finances, we can find ourselves in financial chaos so deep it can seem hopeless.
And if we aren’t honest about how we are treating others in our lives, that can end badly on many levels – and we can quickly find ourselves alone with our dashed hopes, broken dreams, and haunting regrets.
When I first decided to do a Word of the Week, other words I chose seemed far more impactful.
But when I really started giving some thought to honesty, I realized this one word is at the core of so much more than it seems on the surface.
Honesty really is a key to everything we are
and everything we can be in both life and business.
We look for it. We want it. And we should strive to give it.
If we are able to maintain standards of honesty with our personal relationships, clients/customers, and ourselves, it will have a powerful impact in our lives and businesses.
Because honesty leads to trust – even trust and confidence in ourselves. And trust is something to value, since it is easily broken and hard to repair.
But that’s a word for another week…