Vincy Workplace
July 11, 2008
Web of lies

When was the last time you lied on the job? Was it yesterday? Last week? A few months ago?

Whenever it was, now that you are looking back on it, do you remember why you lied? Look back at any one of the many business scandals that have erupted over the years, and consider how many of them were either started with a single lie or fell into place amidst a web of lies that seemed too difficult to untangle. {{more}} That’s one of the things about lies: they often take on a life of they own. You may not become embroiled in a public scandal, but the slow and constant erosion of your reputation will probably prove to be detrimental to your career. Then, why do people lie?

– To Achieve Personal Gain. Humans like to feel important, and some will go to any lengths to become so. Some people lie on their resumes to qualify for a position; others lie about accomplishments to increase their earning power. These lies are often premeditated and very calculating. While they may not seem harmful to anyone, lies about training or past experience or exaggerated credentials can result in injury to innocent clients; in addition, such lies are also punishable in many cases.

– To Cover Up Errors. Look at the scandal that surrounded Enron. This American-based company dug themselves into a financial hole when they tried to cover up a multitude of financial errors. Those errors eventually resulted in the collapse of the corporation-and the loss of income and retirement benefits for thousands of employees and also impacted individual investors who lost their life savings.

– To Save Face. The majority of people who lie do it on the spur of a moment, to get themselves out of a sticky or uncomfortable situation. They may not want to go to dinner with a colleague, so they say they are sick; or, they may have missed an appointment or arrived late and, instead of just saying the real reason, they make up a story about having a previous engagement or being swamped at work with last minute emergency projects or running into “unusually heavy” traffic.
– To Appear “Innocent.” Lies are frequently an indication that your moral backbone is either soft or nonexistent. Stand up for your past actions, defend your opinions, take a stand; don’t shrink and lie yourself out of a corner when confronted and asked why you took a perfectly logical-and defensible-but controversial action.

In the end, it doesn’t matter why you lied; it’s the fact that you did that is the reflection on your character. Most people regret their lies pretty quickly because they do not like how they feel after deceiving another person and eventually develop better tendencies. But if you keep lying, you will eventually develop a reputation for doing so. Once you are known as a liar, while they may not accuse you directly or call you on your shortcomings, your colleagues are making mental notes.

Without warning, your house of lies will some day topple, and the crash is always ugly when it does.

Karen Hinds President/CEO – Workplace Success Group
Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775; Tel: 1-203-757-4103

[email protected]

Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)