This post is a detailed explanation of one of my principles. All posts in the series can be found here.

This is my first principle. It is the most foundational rule I’ve set for myself. Being honest is so core to human behavior it is easy to assume all people follow this.

The reality is not all people do - at least not all the time. I don’t want people to think I’m one of those people, and I’d rather not make people assume I’m going to be trustworthy. Putting it in writing makes it clear that I will be and it creates less room for me to slip.

I value having a good reputation, and I hope people think of me as someone with high integrity. If I break any trust, it is difficult to rebuild and more expensive in the long run.

When I wrote out this principle, it took a few iterations to get to the wording I like. There’s more to the idea than just being honest. I chose the words transparent and direct to capture the full idea.

Adding an explanation for each of these:

Transparency is how I intend to build trust and also persuade others. It might take more effort, but if someone can see my motives and point of view, they understand where I am coming from. For communication and building trust, that’s powerful.

As a side note, I am in sales and I know how to create leverage for negotiations. There’s a big difference between using leverage and being deceptive. I am ok with the former but will not do the latter.

Again, the idea here is to be a clear communicator with others. It is about expressing ideas, wants, and problems so that they are heard and understood. It is important to note here that direct does not mean aggressive or confrontational. It is about clearing any ambiguity with people I interact with so that there is no confusion.

To summarize, this principle represents high integrity and clear communication.