Anyone who knows me will know that the Honest value is one which comes very easily to me! I think the expression is ‘I call a spade a spade’. For me, my honest value is something which has been built in from an early age and it is something which I won’t compromise on. It is so strongly within me that even in my GSCE French oral I tied myself in knots trying to say ‘My dad is an accountant’ in French rather than making something up that was easier to say! It never occurred to me to be anything other than absolutely honest and that hasn’t changed.
Honesty is therefore something that for me is a basic expectation of others. It’s not just about telling the truth. It goes deeper than that. It’s about consistency between what you say and what you do. It’s walking the walk as well as talking the talk. It’s also about taking responsibility. If something goes wrong it’s about recognising that and owning it.
We make mistakes all the time – it’s part of being human. Getting things wrong is often when we do our best learning about how to get something right next time, but honesty in this situation is critical. If we can’t admit when we get something wrong and take responsibility for it then we convince ourselves that we don’t need to learn and we miss the opportunity. The chances are we’ll make the mistake again because we didn’t own the issue and commit to doing better next time.
Being honest isn’t always easy. Sometimes you’ll have to say things that other people don’t want to hear. That’s why it takes courage and confidence. Speaking up when it matters and talking through things that need resolving are all keys skills associated with the honest value. Don’t shy away from using them but always combine them with your caring value.
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. C.S Lewis