Moral character

Assets | Honesty

1. Highlights

When we employ honesty in our communication with others and when we deal truthfully with the evidence that lies before us, we build social trust and gain a clearer picture of both the challenges we face and the range of possible actions that could result in positive change in our communities.

Gain clarity on issues that might be hard for us to consider or hear

Say what needs to be said by communicating with empathy, civility and courage

Seeks to understand others' perspectives and be willing to admit when we are wrong

Honesty helps to surface the values that are important to students, educators and parents — values which in turn inform the process of moral and ethical decision-making. Yet honesty is complicated. The way we practice honesty, in combination with our other character assets, will depend on the specific situation in which we are communicating with others. When paired with humility — another Moral asset to which honesty is closely related — honesty seeks to understand others’ perspectives and be humble enough to admit when we are wrong.

A strong sense of empathy, well-informed by inclusivity and perspective taking, can help us understand which words might best communicate respect — with civility — while not holding back and courageously saying what needs to be said. This foundation of honesty, combined with character assets like humility, inclusivity, perspective-taking, empathy, civility, and courage, allows us to leverage the diversity of our learning communities towards equitable change.

Respect plays an important role in facilitating honest conversations.
Honest communication between teachers and families can help support student learning.

2. Context

Honest communication between teachers and families can help support student learning.

3. Resources

Select one of our featured resources or visit the PI toolkit library for more tools.

The h-factor – honesty-humility in the HEXACO six-factor model of personality


  10 minutes

  By: Psychology Today

The power of vulnerability


  21 minutes

  By: Brené Brown, TEDx

Honesty or humility


  3 minutes

  By: Scale Architect

Why is academic integrity important?


  10 minutes

  By: Principled Innovation™ (PI)

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