How Often Have You Lied at Work?

The Perils Of Lying At Work man face lie work

It’s just too easy. I’m sure that we have all done it. The door of “the easy way out” beckons and you tell that little lie. You tell yourself that no one is honest all the time, as you simultaneously hatch a plan to cover it up. There are conflicting views on the value of “white lies”, but for those people whose work lives are ruled by deceit and subterfuge, their lies can only cause harm.

In a piece of research in 2014, Kim Serota, a professor from Oakland, carried out a revealing study on lying. He found that 60% of the subjects reported not telling any lies on any given day and that 5% of the respondents told half the volume of lies. This suggests a tendency towards “prolific lying.” He found that the average number of lies in the UK was four per day, with “prolific liars” telling significantly more than four lies per day.

According to the data, prolific liars are younger, are more likely to be male and have higher occupational status. Senior managers seem to be more likely to be prolific liars than junior managers and non-management employees. This trend opposes the broader finding that people tell fewer lies as they get older.

The collaborative nature of our working life is such that it is easy to get caught up in someone’s web of deceit. If you accept their lie as a truth and then act on it, you are allowing it to become part of your reality and the responsibility for the consequences now partly lies with you. There is also the feeling that if someone has told a white lie to you, it is almost acceptable to lie to them in return. This is an extremely slippery slope. If you are being told a lie, in many cases, the best course of action is to question the facts and get to the truth of the matter.

People lie for various reasons – not all of them are malicious, so be delicate and forgiving when you uncover the lie. “I’m sure that you were mistaken” or “you may not quite have understood” are much better approaches than aggressively accusing them of being deliberately misleading. The liars will often be relieved that their lie has been “rumbled” in such an understanding manner, and they will be unlikely to do it again with you anytime soon.

The dilemma comes if someone’s lie does not directly affect you. It may be seen as “meddling” if you get involved, but everyone has a different view. The fact is that most lies will come to light in the end. Living the life of a fraud is never a long-term option, and once one lie is discovered, all the others will be sure to unravel.

To give a recruitment example, there have been lots of high profile examples where the simple matter of lying on a CV has been discovered decades later, yet the outcome has been the same. Loss of trust, loss of reputation and often loss of employment. That person may have been promoted instead of you. How do you feel about their lie? Would you still tell “little white lies” like this yourself?

All lies catch up with you in the end.

Written by Lee Narraway and Edited by Paul Drury

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website:

7 Tips To Deal With Sensitive People

According to research, 20% of us are “highly-sensitive.” This seems high, but the majority of us (especially the men), won’t always want to advertise it. Actually, those people who are more sensitive than others can be a huge asset to any organization – they are astute influencers and are always the first to react to changes.

Workers office


However, in order to get the best out of them, there are a number of things that the caring manager should bear in mind:

1. Modify your language

You can be sure that they will read into every word you say, so make sure that you are clear about your message. Take the time to explain the context behind your words so they cannot be misinterpreted and be as direct as possible.

Ambiguity might lead to them drawing all sorts of conclusions.

2. Ask them to set their emotions aside

No one can ignore their emotions, but it is sometimes necessary to point out that they can get in the way of making solid business decisions. By asking them to focus on the logical facts of the matter, they can actively manage their emotional response.

3. Talk about the consequences

The more that they understand the various possibilities; the more innovative they can be as they clearly see the ramifications of each choice.

A lack of information can make a sensitive person nervous, so share as much as you can with them.

4. Identify what causes them stress

If you can move them to a quieter area of the office, ask them if this would help. Give them time to reply in the clamour of a meeting. Ask them about how they prefer to work.

Every now and again, a day working at home can help to recharge their battery and bring the best out of them.

5. Take care with criticism

They will often be much more aware of their shortcomings than the rest of their colleagues. Often, you won’t need to explain a criticism to them. They will be perfectly aware of it already. Also, take criticism from them on the chin – given their attention to detail, they will often try to make constructive suggestions to improve a certain situation.

6. Be honest about your feelings

They will often be able to tell if you are hiding something, so best to be honest in what you say. If you are having a bad day, don’t say “I’m fine” – best to let them know what is going on, or they may wonder about the reasons why you obviously aren’t fine.

7. Don’t interrupt their focus

They focus best when they are in tune with their own thoughts, and can sometimes lose track if they are pulled from one project to another. Set expectations for timeframes on projects and give them the space and time to deliver the best possible result.

Getting the most out of the sensitive people in your team can make them the barometer of your business. Accept that they need to be handled in a slightly different way, and you will allow them to flourish.

Written by Lee Narraway and edited by Paul Drury.

If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments:

Lee Narraway

Phone: 01925 747 712 Email: LinkedIn: Website: