Truthfulness means being honest in what we say or do without lying or distorting the truth. It is the quality of being honest, consistent and straight forward in speech and action.

A truthful person is an honest person. He or she does not lie, cheat or steal.


Attribute of Truthfulness

The attributes or characteristics of truthfulness are as follows:

  1. Consistency: This is the quality of being able to maintain standards without wavering. A consistent person is a reliable person.
  2. Steadfastness: A steadfast person is firm in purpose. He or she knows the goals of the organization and aims at these.
  3. Straight forwardness: This is the ability to be honest and frank. A straight forward person is truthful.
  4. Transparency: Clarity is the quality of clear verbal expression of thoughts and being transparent in words and deeds at all time.
  5. Sincerity: Sincerity is the quality of being straightforward in expressing opinions and feelings.
  6. Honesty: Honesty is the quality of being truthful and trustworthy. To be honest is to tell the truth at all times even at personal risk to oneself.
  7. Factual: Truth consists of facts and these are things that presently exist or happened in the past.

Therefore, truthfulness is based on facts.

  1. Loyalty: Loyalty is the quality of having a feeling of commitment to a duty, organisation or worthy course. A loyal person has a feeling of devotion to speak the truth.
  2. Accuracy: Accuracy means correctness. It involves saying the truth in reporting something without adding to or taking array facts.
  3. Courage: Courage also means bravery. A truthful person is brave. He/she is ready to tell the truth even if faced with difficulties dangers, and pains notwithstanding the consequences.


Factors that cause people to lie

  1. To make gain: people sometimes lie to gain money, power, promotion, employment, time, favour or approval to do something or to be somewhere.
  2. Fear: fear of punishment or fear of the unknown makes people to tell lies especially when they tell lies.
  3. To get people attention, sympathy or to boost one’s ego.
  4. Poor ethics: when people have conducted themselves inappropriately to shown poor morals, they sometimes tell lies in an attempt to cover up.
  5. To cover up the truth: people often tell lies to cover up the truth for selfish reasons.
  6. Desire to deny responsibility for one’s actions: when some people commit an offence or do other wrong things, they deny responsibility and blame others by telling lies.


Rewards for being truthful

  1. A truthful person is considered upright in the community and he or she is respected
  2. Peace of mind: the mind is free of any anxiety that telling lies may cause.
  3. Honest gains: with a decision to be truthful at all times, there is a greater assurance that gains and rewards are honestly attained.
  4. Organizational harmony: the organizational functions in the absence of disruptions caused by lies.
  5. Additional responsibilities: people who are truthful are not only trusted but respected. They are often entrusted with serious responsibilities.

Consequences of not being truthful

People who are not faithful suffer all of the following:

  1. The person loses face in the community
  2. The person is not trusted as he or she is considered unreliable
  3. The person’s conscience will always prick him or her.
  4. People will look down on him or her.
  5. He or she may not be able to occupy position that require truth and integrity.


Fair Play

Fair play means just and honourable treatment for people or conduct. It is sticking to the agreed rules. Fair play must be in word or deed. An activity that involves fair play would mean subjecting every party in a matter of the same laws, rules or regulations and judging their actions based on these.

Attributes of fair play

  1. Equity: Equity is the quality of treating everyone equal at all times with justice, fairness and impartiality.
  2. Openness: Openness is the quality of being straight forward and truthful. It involves not trying to hide anything or trying to deceive anyone regarding the issue under consideration.
  3. Responsibility: The ability to carry out the job given to you properly and not passing it to others.
  4. Impartiality: Impartiality is the quality of not being biased. It involves not farvouring any person or group above another. An individual can readily demonstrate impartiality if he or she no direct interest or benefits in the issue being considered.
  5. Playing by the rules: This is keeping to the rules of a game or a business organisation.



  • What is truthfulness?
  • Explain six attributes of truthfulness
  • What is fair play
  • List (3) three attributes of fair play.


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