I overheard someone proudly claiming the other day that she was honest, that she “tells it like it is.”
But what she said was utterly and factually incorrect.
She shared her opinion, you bet. She described things just as she thinks they are. But countless people in her organization would beg to disagree. And they’d have facts on their side.
There’s a difference between being honest and opinionated. You can be one, but not the other. You can be both, too, although experience tells me that when people say they’re being the former, they’re really being the latter.
Being honest is about telling the truth; not misleading; not being deceptive. Being opinionated is about expressing what you think is true; sharing your take on things; giving your impressions.
And being “direct” is a whole different thing as well, often confused with being honest as well.
If you want to be persuasive, communicate effectively, or have your opinion valued, it’s best to start with knowing the difference between these.