Lies Hurt

“We owe honesty to everyone we meet.”

                                            Joel Casto

As I’m reflecting on the previous year and making plans for a fruitful new one, I find myself pondering the word honesty, and really thinking about what it means to be honest with someone.


I don’t think we hear it enough. Why is that? 

Is it because we have been conditioned to lie, to bend the truth, or to be “creative” with our words?

Or, here’s a thought, is it us who are conditioning others to not be fully honest? Are we, as leaders, colleagues, parents or friends, so uncomfortable with the truth that we have made it difficult or impossible for others to offer it?

Think about that for a moment.

  • Have we led others to believe that truth isn’t good enough “as is,” and that they should make it more interesting, believable or palatable?
  • Have we told others that telling the truth is offensive (instead of modeling how to tell the truth respectfully)?
  • Have we joked or referenced that truth hurts?
  • Have we bitten the hand that offered truth?

I think the answers to those questions are, undoubtedly, yes. Thus, the failure to find the ever elusive “honesty” is, technically, our fault.

I don’t think the burden of consequence should be carried by the person offering truth. Instead, I think we, as leaders, carry the burden of accepting it.

Joel Casto, quoted above, has been my mentor for nearly 23 years. Throughout our relationship, he reminded me that I owe others gentle, courteous and/or professional honesty. Indeed, his wisdom is no less valuable today than it was 23 years ago. I respectfully add, I owe everyone acceptance when honesty is offered.

I believe that only when we commit to both offering and accepting honesty will we see more of it.

That being said, cheers to you and your team for a impactful, fruitful and honest new year.


  • About the Author

    Heather Kinzie serves as the Chief Operating Officer for The STRIVE Group. With more than 20 years of organizational and workforce performance experience, Kinzie offers consultation; facilitation and mediation; content development and training; and coaching to clients around the country. She oversees a team of experts who utilize a broad, systematic and collaborative approach to analysis, problem solving and consultation.

    Recognizing the critical importance of leadership, communication and effective engagement among teams, Kinzie has spent years learning, applying, evaluating and refining her theories on group dynamics, relationships, problem solving and motivation. Kinzie\\\'s clients appreciate her authenticity and creative, pragmatic insights and ideas to improve their leadership abilities, their teams and ultimately their organizations.

    Kinzie is a sought-after national keynote speaker, noted for bringing humor, genuineness and practical perspectives to her presentations. Her relevant and inspiring content resonates with audiences, engaging participants to step into new spaces.

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The STRIVE Group

The STRIVE Group