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When I founded TEN7, before we had explicitly defined our mission and values, honesty was at the heart of what I set out to build. Working in an arena where jargon and “tech speak” often rule the day, I wanted a different kind of relationship with clients, coming together as equals who bring different experiences and expertise to the table. This is how you foster empathy and trust. This is where our value - Be Honest - started.

At its core Be Honest is simple: You tell the truth. In reality it’s not always so easy. Having difficult conversations with clients is hard. Having tough conversations with employees is even harder. Still, I’ve found that living this value, and practicing honesty in all interactions, makes it easier. If you’re consistently honest, your client won’t be blindsided if a deadline needs to be pushed back. If you’re providing honest feedback to your team members in real time, they won’t be surprised about expectations for their work.

The benefits of Be Honest are simple. It’s nice to know you’re on the same page with everyone. You don’t have to try to keep track of which “version of the truth” you told to each party. It takes the pressure off and allows us to build authentic and meaningful relationships.

While every one of our values is critical to our work at TEN7, Be Honest is a non-negotiable. We don’t speak down to people. We don’t “spin” the truth. That’s how we come together to Make Things That Matter.

I’m grateful to have a team that has fully embraced this value. In the next part of our Values Series you’ll hear from some of our team members as they explain what Be Honest means to them and how it plays out in the work that they do.