Come clean: It's National Honesty Day!

April begins with a day that celebrates falsehoods – April Fool’s Day. End it with a day that celebrates and acknowledges the importance of honesty – Honesty Day.

Celebrated annually on April 30, the day was created in the early 1990s by M. Hirsh Goldberg, the former press secretary to the state of Maryland in the United States and author of The Book of Lies..

Honesty does not need to be a lonely word, or celebrated only once a year. Truthfulness can increase trust and also strengthen relationships and make them more productive.

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL HONESTY DAY

A. Honesty builds trust

Honesty goes a long way. People get ahead by making the right choices and showing that they are trustworthy. This builds trust, which is essential for teamwork.

B. The worst truth is better than the best lie

Sometimes when you lie, it can start a snowball effect, and you're ultimately found out. Trust in the notion that the truth always finds a way to surface, so just own up.

C. We can’t read each other’s minds

Being honest doesn’t just mean telling factual truth, but also being truthful about the way you’re feeling. When we don't tell the truth, we leave a lot to supposition, which many times only complicates communication. 

SUGGESTIONS FOR CELEBRATING NATIONAL HONESTY DAY

1. Answer questions truthfully all day long
 

Go on, try your best to keep truthful. It shouldn’t be that difficult if you’re a good soul.

2. Open up to someone truthfully

Been holding something back, aching to tell someone something important? Go for it today. Some times being truthful can be uncomfortable, but ti's always the best policy.

3. Be more transparent

If you’re a leader in the workplace, it’s a good time to be transparent by communicating less over email and become more personally engaged with your employees via face-to-face and/or video interaction and with greater frequency. This will not only build trust, but more importantly set-forth a precedent that will establish a new type of loyalty and attitude that will ripple throughout the organization.

SOME INTERESTING FACTS

NATIONAL HONESTY DAY - SURVEY RESULTS

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Seems that lying has plague humans. For example, just in our country, there have been lies even from some of our most cherished historical figures.  Here are just a couple of M. Hirsh Goldberg's findings about historical lies:

* Our most revered figures are suspect. Benjamin Franklin, author of Poor Richard's Almanac who preached that ''a penny saved is a penny earned,'' lived lavishly while in Europe and admitted to a dirty little secret: Frugality, he said in 1782, was ''a virtue I never could acquire in myself.''

* J. Edgar Hoover repeatedly fudged the truth to build up the FBI and himself by making the bureau and himself appear to be instrumental in the capture of highly visible criminals, such as Machine Gun Kelly and the kidnapper of the Lindbergh baby, both of whom were caught without the FBI.

We perceive and are concerned with the increase in deceit and deception in society today. Cheating on income taxes is now the biggest crime in America, dwarfing drug trafficking. The Federal treasury now loses upward of $88 billion a year from under-reporting of income and other tax evasions. Politicians, and even the media lie on a regular basis.

The political landscape is getting shadier. The public seems to be losing faith in its elected representatives. A Parents magazine survey found that after the last national election only 10 percent of those surveyed believed the presidential hopefuls had been honest.

 The savings-and-loan scandal, the insider-trading practices on Wall Street, consumer scams (fraudulent telephone selling schemes now cost the public $1 billion a year) -- all plague our nation and cost government and the private sector dearly.

If you buy a used car or truck, you now stand a one-in-five chance of being the victim of odometer rollback. And your health-insurance premiums are being forced up because fraud now costs the health-care industry an estimated $10 billion a year. False or inflated claims are said to be escalating, and the fraud is not so much by patients as by the health-care providers themselves.

I'm sure you can think of many other examples. A National Honesty Day may not stem such a tide, but it can help renew and refresh our sense of values and ethics. 

Remember. . .

Today, and always, be truthful. Embrace truth and honesty.

Leadership needs to have trust at its base. Having open dialogue where everyone can feel safe and free to speak their truth is the best way to build trust. I invite you to learn more about the Do's and Don'ts Dialogue attractively presented in an infographic.