Lying at work: Who is to blame? | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Lying at work: Who is to blame?

Executive Coach Raj Narayan says there are two kinds of workplace liars, 'please all' liars and the 'shy' kind.

As a manager, how do you feel when you catch one of your team members lying? Does it make you feel elated at having called the bluff or do you get exasperated at the thought of someone telling an untruth for no obvious reason?

A friend once narrated an incident from his workplace where a colleague sought special leave to head home, citing a medical emergency as the reason. Unfortunately, the very person who was reportedly unwell called in to inquire about his whereabouts, leading to an embarrassing situation. However, the manner in which my friend dealt with the situation came as a surprise for many and a shock to several members of the company that he worked for.

He reimbursed the guy’s ticket for an early evening cricket match and asked him to work an extra day over the weekend to complete his tasks. “Well, to be honest, this person had dropped several hints about wanting to watch the match, but I somehow had overlooked his eagerness. So, in a way I must admit to have been the reason for him to lie,” my friend said.

Having read this small anecdote, here are some questions that we’d like to ask you about your own response to colleagues at work:

1. Are you building the levels of trust needed within the team for individuals to speak the truth?

2. Do you, as a leader, have the patience and the strength and integrity to accept disagreements at the workplace?

3. In case you prefer others to always agree with you, have you stopped to consider how this trend can impact your team as a whole? Are you creating a team of sycophants? If your answers to the first and second questions is an emphatic ‘Yes’, there is nothing for you to worry about. However, if you are unsure of the answers to the first two questions and have answered the third question with a ‘Yes’, then there definitely is trouble brewing behind your back.

Executive Coach and NLP enthusiast Raj Narayan believes that there are two types of workplace liars in the business. The first one is the ‘please all’ liar who wants to keep everyone happy, especially their boss, and the second is the shy kind who lack the confidence to state their position.

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