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Considering the Strength of Honesty

by | Nov 16, 2022 | Strengths

Honesty is one of the four character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Courage.

Courage describes strengths that help you exercise your will and face adversity. 

What is honesty?

When you are honest, you speak the truth. More broadly, you present yourself in a genuine and sincere way, without pretense, and taking responsibility for your feelings and actions. 

You are a person of integrity — you are who you say you are — and you act consistently across the domains of your life rather than being one way in the community and a completely different way in your family. As a result, you believe you are being consistently true to yourself.

The strength of honesty is often linked to self-concordance – the extent to which your goals accurately represent your implicit interests and values. Honesty allows people to take responsibility for their feelings and behaviours, owning them, and reaping benefits by doing so.

Why is honesty of value?

  • Honest people are typically viewed as trustworthy which contributes to healthy, positive relationships.
  • Honesty is linked with improved accuracy of your goals, reflecting true values and interests. 
  • Honesty allows for more accurate self-assessment of your competencies and motivations – to others and to yourself.

A couple of questions to consider

  • How well do you honour your commitments, agreements and compromises in your personal and professional relationships?
  • When you make a mistake, how easy is it for you to take responsibility for it?

Some things that you can do to practise honesty

  • When someone asks for your honest opinion, give it to them (with a dose of kindness too).
  • When you are speaking with your co-workers, examine your speech for anything less direct, clear, specific communication. Watch for tangents, disclaimers, exaggerations, avoidance and minimisations that begin to pull you from a purely honest expression. 
  • Be honest with yourself. Name a struggle, bad habit or vice you have avoided facing or talking about. Begin to face this vulnerability with greater honesty.

For more information on the strength of honesty, go to

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)



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