Telling the Truth

There are two good reasons for telling the truth—for sticking to the truth as well as you can—in any situation: First, it makes you feel good, and secondly it’s the only way to earn trust and respect from others. You may gain respect for your good manners, your position in life, your acts of kindness, your knowledge and your experience—but to be caught in an outright lie will at once wipe out all the other sterling qualities you might possess.

Tell the Truth, All the Time

There is no doubt about it, failure to tell the truth can have far reaching consequences. The last thing a salesperson—and I have been a successful one for most of my adult life—can afford to do is to play around with the truth, to color it or to stretch it. A salesperson who lies, who comes out with half truths, will soon find himself without prospects, without customers and without a job. There isn’t any room either for false flattery, phony excuses and cop-outs. People can usually see through these like a picture window.

A good salesperson isn’t the only one whose reputation depends on telling the truth. It’s true of all of us, whether one’s a student, a lawyer, a politician, a homemaker, a teacher or as a motivational speaker. I owe my success to sticking strictly to the truth. A lie can cost you business, can cost you friends, can cost you trust, can cause you trouble and can cost you money. If you stick to the truth no matter what the cost, you can only come out a winner, not a loser.

Here are some tips—some do’s and don’ts—that I have found helpful in telling the truth.

Four Things to Do

  • *Be true to yourself.
  • *Think twice before speaking.
  • *Think of another way to say it.
  • *Temper truth with kindness

Four Things Not to Do

  • *Don’t exaggerate.
  • *Don’t cover up for others
  • *Don’t ask others to cover up for you.
  • *Don’t tell “little white lies.”

If you tell the truth to yourself, if you face up to the truth, if you’re absolutely honest with yourself about your goals, your attitudes, your abilities, your work, your family status, you’ll find it a great deal easier to be truthful and to be absolutely honest with others. Like everything else—charity, respect for others, liking for others, concern for others—truth begins at home.

Image Credits – Celestine Chua