We all know it’s important to tell the truth, but we don’t always do it. Why? Because telling the truth can be uncomfortable. It may not make you look your best. However, telling the truth even when it’s difficult is a sure way to build good relationships.
I like the way one wealthy individual told the truth. He was asked how he had amassed a huge fortune. He said, “It was really quite simple. I bought an apple for five cents, spent the evening polishing it and sold it the next day for ten cents. With this, I bought two apples, spent the evening polishing them, and sold them for twenty cents. And so it went until I had amassed $1.60. It was then that my wife’s father died and left us a million dollars.”
The man told the truth. He didn’t glamorize the process. He didn’t “stretch” the truth for a little extra impact. This man simply told the truth, which is what you have to do if you aspire to have good relationships with others.
The strange thing is that the truth always comes out anyway. So it may just as well come from you.
Tell the Truth About Mistakes Too
A corollary of telling the truth is admitting mistakes. Unfortunately, most cultures discourage people from admitting mistakes. Instead, burying mistakes is the modus operandi. Unless the culture encourages openness and its cousins, truth and honesty, then mistakes are often repeated, not necessarily by you but by others.
Admitting your mistakes take guts. But that’s how responsibility and trust are built. Truthfulness is the foundation that makes for both improved relationships and increased effectiveness.
Tip: The more you tell the truth and own up to your mistakes, the more respect others will have for you. As a result, you’ll build stronger relationships that are based on trust and honesty.
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