A few years back a great mentor of mine John Jarman first alerted me to people, especially sales people, who start their verbal pitch with the words “To be honest” of course my sub conscious mind kicked in, the Baadr-Meinhof or frequency illusion phenomena picking up on a thought and going into action when listening to people, and there it was, everywhere “To be honest” and its much favoured derivative “To be fair”
Why do people start with this? By implication are they not normally honest or fair, so this time they want us to know they are being honest and fair? What does that say about them?
See how may times you hear it today in business, on the news, on sports channels and realise it’s a waste of words, no one suddenly thinks, wow this person is being really sincere THIS TIME!
Better to be honest in deed, as Thomas Carlyle, nineteenth-century Scottish philosopher and satirist said “Make yourself an honest [person] and then you may be sure there is one rascal less in the world.”