There are few things that can hurt a team more than deceit. When I say team here, you can broadly interpret it as family or congregation, class or company. Anytime two or more people are working toward a common goal, trust is required to make progress.
Here are a few ideas about the importance of honesty.
Honesty Fuels the Relational Health of a Team.
The amount of trust present in a team is directly proportionate to the health of the relationships among team members. Trust grows as each team member deals honestly and fairly with the team as a whole, and with her individual team members. Honest interactions build up an emotional bank account the team can draw upon in difficult times. A robust emotional bank account is a sign of vibrant relational health. The greater the stress that attacks a team from the outside, the greater the need for a full emotional bank account among team members on the inside.
You can think of is this way, every time you deal honesty and show trustworthiness toward members of your family, your church or your company, you place a unit of trust in everyone’s heart your decision effects. A long track record of trust deposits will not only give your team greater confidence in you, but will allow them to have sufficient grace for you at times when you don’t pull through.
These trust deposits should never be presumed upon for blatant wrongdoings. Honesty is a matter of the heart. When you tread upon someone’s trust, you are treading upon their heart as well.
Honesty Keeps the Lines of Communication Open
Honesty is crucial for effective communication. Anytime I am skeptical about a speaker’s trustworthiness, I receive their words with skepticism. Skepticism is a gatekeeper that guards the heart. If I don’t have sufficient reason to believe you, not only am I not going to receive your words, but I’m not going to offer mine to you. Dishonesty breaks down communication both coming and going.
Without honesty, communication remains superficial, and in an area where little bonding can take place. As trust deepens through a history of honesty, team members can feel confident in sharing their dreams and ambitions, as well as their doubts and fears. It’s at this deep level of communicating that relational bonds are forged. Honesty chisels out those profound lines of communication that unite team members at a heart level.
Honest Promotes Effectiveness
Whether your team consists of you and your wife, or you are a part of thousand-member congregation, honesty helps your team to be what it needs to be and go where it needs to go. As we noted above, honesty lends itself to the relational health of any team. A healthy team is able to focus on the tasks it was created for. Where there is no health, there is no progress.
Mistrust in a team is like fever in a body. I know when I have a fever, I don’t feel like doing anything. My body, internally, is working double time to try to rid itself of the pathogens. Until my body has done the internal work, I’m not able to apply myself to the external things I want to accomplish.
The same principle is at work in the life of a team. Until trust is established, progress comes slowly, if at all. Once trust is in place, a team can take on its goals with greater effectiveness.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. NAS Ephesians 4:25
Where have you witnessed the damage caused by broken trust?
How important would you say honesty is to a healthy relationship?
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