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The Honesty of Information Train

Post Series: Business

Honesty of information ….  What is it?  Where is it?  Why do we need it?

Today’s norm and pervasive status quo is to hoard, limit, deflect, and misrepresent information and its flow.  We give it in droves to those we know, like, and are not threatened by.  And, conversely, we stay silent, act coy, and avoid shelling out knowledge, facts, and advice to people we do not know and perhaps are not yet comfortable with.

But, wait, I know what you’re saying …. honesty of information is not the same as sharing or providing information.  Oh, but it is!  Merriam-Webster.com defines the word share/sharing as, “to partake of, use, experience, occupy, or enjoy with others; to have in common.”  Wikipedia defines honesty as “a facet of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.”

What Is It?

In any given activity that we are involved in that includes the giving or receiving of information (yes, communicating!), we are using it, enjoying it (or loathing it, because this happens too) with others, being frank and candid, and/or showing our integrity and truthfulness or lack thereof.  With that said, my definition of ‘honesty of information‘ is the ability and willingness to communicate relevant and critical facts, information, and knowledge in an aboveboard manner that garners appreciation and reciprocity of action, even when doing so may not be advantageous.  

Where Is It?

Now, how many of us see this in our practices, at our places of work, in our own companies? Because honesty of information is the exception and not the rule, when we do see, when we do experience it, it is like a cold refreshing glass of water on a hot, humid day.  Those of us who are fortunate enough to be exposed to an environment where honesty of information is free flowing, should hold on to it like our life depends on it; something not to be taken for granted or misused.

Of course, I’m not advocating about an undisciplined openness, which is the other side of the spectrum that is extremely counterproductive. Nor am I of the mindset that there are different honesties of information, that is, I have my honesty of information and you have yours.  Honesty is not custom-made or tailor-made and neither is honesty of information.  But, I digress.

Why Do We Need It?

Let’s not miss the all-important reason why honesty of information is needed, both in our professional lives and in our personal lives.  Simply put, to keep things, life, processes, people, and plans moving uninterrupted.  When that element of honesty is removed from the information train, the disruption, vexed, and petulant train is right behind it.  When we piecemeal and fracture (P&F) the information that we give out, we not only have to remember what it is that we gave out and what we omitted, we also have to think ahead and anticipate the likely responses to our P&F.

In the 21st century where everything is nonstop and time is relentlessly advancing, who really has time for that?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t!  You can never go wrong when we peel back the layers and immerse ourselves in that line, that procession of things that is …. the honesty of information train. Happy navigating!

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