It seems the past few years have been a parable on the dangers of dishonesty and deceit. From the fall of the United States’ banking industry, to ponzi schemes, and now even the Vatican seems to be embroiled in deception – who is next? The Dalai Lama?
Banks started as an institution which sought to allow you to access money away from home, not as massive corporations bent on making money. However, as they started to look toward more ambitious goals, they had to start taking risks.
Risks are inherent to business, but dishonesty is not. As you progress in your business, be sure to keep in mind that honesty is the best policy. Any short gains you have in dishonesty are going to be immediately mitigated by the long term losses when the deception is discovered.
Keep yourself honest by speaking honestly. Revolutionary, right? The simplest concepts evade us when we’re reaching for the stars. Let’s check out 3 ways honesty really helps in business.
Some of my favorite negotiations have come when I presented what I needed, my client presented what they have, and we found a reasonable middle ground. No sweat, no hassle. Some people try to oversell their services, some people try to low-ball a budget to save money on services. These are reasonable when we think of business as deceit, but when we think of it as honest and beneficial, everyone comes out ahead and we can spend our time doing more productive things.
When you fail, it is difficult to accept the blame. Finger pointing can start and leads only to burned bridges and broken reputations. No one gains from this. Honestly confronting your mistakes – or the mistakes of others – can seriously mitigate the damage done by a failure of any size.
People who work under you and people who work with you are not dumb. It’s odd, but many managers seem to think that peons work beneath them – drone bees who mindlessly go about their business. Those below you are not only intelligent, but often have their hands right in the thick of whatever you’re working on. Their insights might be some of the most useful you can have at your disposal. If you address them honestly – what you know, what you don’t know, what ideas you are confident in and which you aren’t – you may find they’re invaluable.