Honesty is the best Business Policy

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Nazreen, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Nazreen

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    I was reading up on Sikhism this morning and got interested with one of it's most important teachings and that is about honesty. For those not in the know, Sikhs also believe in one God and their main prophet is guru Nanak. Their religion stresses the importance of honesty.

    I believe that honesty is also very important in running a successful business and I'd like to discuss about it in this thread.

    Let us ask ourselves these questions first. If you're working or was working before, how many times have you lied to your boss? to your company? If you own a business, how many times have you lied to your boss, which is yourself?
     
  2. Fergal

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    I've met some Sikhs in the past and I would have to say that they are generally a very gentle, admirable people and a pleasure to meet.

    I always try to be honest, it makes life much easier. It is much easier to admit to your mistakes and to face the music than it is to try and cover them up with lies. If you lie you will get found out in the end.

    Your clients will respect you much more if you are upfront and honest to them about whatever situation you find yourself in. If your client / customers catches you out lying, that could well be the ruination of the business relationship.

    If honesty is a habit to you, the truth will come naturally. When you are asked about something you don't have to start thinking about what you said before, or start making up stories, you just tell the truth. If you start lying you will quickly find yourself telling other lies to cover up the first lie and then lying becomes a habit.
     
  3. Nazreen

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    When people talk about lying, we normally associate this with spoken lies. In actuality, we can also lie by our actions and not just words. Did you ever steal time from your employer? If you're your own boss and own a business, have you ever promised to do something but didn't do it?

    Well, when we talk about lying like this, it would seem that I have been stealing time from my previous employers to the current one, starting from the first day I've joined in with them. Sometimes I take extra breaks here and there. When going to other departments, sometimes I'll take the longer route and take my time in walking. I also delay submitting my finished work just so that I won't get additional work.

    The Sikhs also believe this and try to be honest not just in their words but also in their actions. If we also try to be honest, both in words and actions, then we would be doing our best at work. In our business, we would be doing our best in doing what we have set out to do.

    This is the reason for the title of this thread: "Honesty is the best Business Policy.".
     
  4. Fergal

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    Thanks for the clarification Nazreen, it's a very interesting point. I suppose we could all benefit from looking at our actions / behaviour and working towards making them more honest.
     
  5. djschwab

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    I have honesty as one of my core values of my business. In the past when I wasn't working for myself I can't say I was always honest in my business and personal dealings. I have come to learn it is better to feel good about yourself because you were honest, than to make the sale in a deceitfull way.
     
  6. deepak_sharma

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    In my opinion i do not support this statement completely. I mean we are tought that we should be ethically correct and should be honest but it could harm you in your business. Maybe you are honest but your competetiors wont be that way. In my opinion one should be honest till your business is not affected...
     
  7. harmin

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    Hello Nazreen.I agree that honesty is the best business policy.Mostly,all person in this world says that they never speaks lie but this is not truth.They says lie(some people more and some with a few words).I think we are also one of them who try to hide their faults and to shown perfect in every field,take the help of lie and dishonesty.
     
  8. Nazreen

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    I think that one of the best examples for this is the China milk scandal. Dairy farms distributed milk contaminated with melamine to fool inspectors about the protein content of their milk. This dishonesty then extended to the food processing plant making baby food and even though they knew of the problem with the milk, they just keep mum about it.

    Now, there are more than 53,000 babies in China who were hospitalized and 4 babies have died so far. For a big nation with a one-child policy, this would be around 40,000 to 50,000 parents who are concerned and grieving for their babies.

    In Singapore, our government has banned most food products coming from China. Even in Hong Kong which is already a part of China, people are asking if this or that food is from mainland China.

    If you ask me, I believe that this is one of the worst case of dishonesty in businesses today!!
     
  9. jigyasa

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    I am a Sikh girl and I appreciate your interest in the values Sikhism is primarily based on. As for your question, all of us tend to lie some times. The real question is the consequences of our lies. I have lied some times but they were trivial and really didn't harm any one. And on the whole, I think a successful business lies on the firm foundation of trust. Once you loose that trust with a lie, the trust cannot be mended.
     
  10. Fergal

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    I firmly believe that if you are honest you will be more successful in the longer term - successful in terms of being a happy, well adjusted, secure and productive person.

    There will be situations where you can be better off financially in the short term, by being dishonest, but it will catch up with you in the end. It may not be as dramatic as Nazreen's excellent example, but I do believe that it will catch up with you.

    Perhaps it is better to aspire to be better than our competitors rather than go to their level and use their tactics. However, I do have to admit that this can be extremely difficult at times.
     
  11. Nazreen

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    If a business is found to be dishonest, either in their words or through their actions, I wouldn't say that it's impossible to get back that trust but it would be very hard to do it. Take the example of the China Milk scandal, the whole Chinese food industry has been affected. To bring back the trust, the Prime Minister of China even have step in and promise to gain back the trust on "Made in China" products.

    You're absolutely correct in this Fergal. Using deceptive techniques would only lower us to their level and we would be as bad as they are. It would be better to aspire to be better through hard and honest work.
     
  12. Nazreen

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    I'd just like to share with you a very nice story which happened yesterday.

    We had scheduled the installation of lighting fixtures and an overhead fan in our new flat. Yesterday afternoon, this nice old man came to do just that. He was very friendly and he's all alone to fix all those 15 fixtures plus the fan.

    My husband and I also offered him some drinks and he was very grateful for that. He worked from 1-6pm and I would say that he did a very good job. When it was time to pay, we've already given him the money when he double checked the invoice and said that the invoice was wrong and with that, he gave us back the $165 extra.

    He could have taken the $165 extra money but he didn't. He told us that if he had taken the money, he might get into an accident and will have to pay more for hospital bills. What a very honest old man?

    I forgot to get his number but will call in today the owner of the lighting business to do that. I'd like to recommend him to all my friends and colleagues if ever they have any electrical wiring jobs that needs doing.
     
    #12 Nazreen, Jan 18, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  13. Fergal

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    Good for him, he's a hero. Do you think that most people would do what he did, or is he exceptionally honest?
     
  14. Nazreen

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    I think that it's the latter, the old man is exceptionally honest. Most people would have taken the money and congratulating themselves for being smart. When money is concerned, it's good to be wary and not to be too trusting. Even your own brother will try to cheat you of your money and I've experienced this firsthand.
     

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