A DAILY POST CHALLENGE TOPIC 48 To regret or not regret lying. Don’t think you lie? Think again. This morning I read two articles, both suggesting how we lie to ourselves. This one was for business leaders. Today, I discuss lying to protect yourself. Tomorrow I will discuss a why or reason we lie that was not discussed in this article. Then Sunday I will post and discuss the second article. Hope I will not regret this promise.
I think we are all leaders–a leader is someone who has power over another. So parents lead, teachers lead, lovers lead, bosses lead, peers with more power lead. And we all lie when we lead. Read the article, it is very short. If you don’t read, just skip right to my thoughts.
Seems to me the lies Dan Rockwell lists fell into two categories. Lies we tell our selves about how others see us and lies to protect ourselves. If you read the article and saw another type of lie don’t agree with my interpretation, let me know.
PROTECTIVE LIES I used to tell my staff, the most important goal for all of us was not to get fired. In one job, that meant never, ever, ever, telling our top boss he was wrong about something. Never.
I did so once and was only saved from being fired because my direct boss became the top boss’ target. My direct boss asked me to join the battle against top boss. Top boss suddenly saw me as loyal.
By the way, I wasn’t loyal to either boss, but to the ethic.
Shortly afterwards, the parent agency had all managers take a course called “Managing Upward.” Good course. Several years afterwards top boss told me “You manage upward very well.”
I needed my job, I liked my job, the good at the job, both for me and others, outweighed the bad. Still there was a line I would not cross in terms of my values. As the poet Edgar Allan Guest noted “I have to live with myself and so I have to be fit for myself to know.” By the way, I have difficulty telling out right lies–shows on my face.
But to keep my job, I developed the strategy of not saying anything when I disapproved of what Top Boss was saying and finding the kernels of truth in his words and supporting them. I also recognized his strength. He hired good people and if they didn’t threaten him let them do their work.
I was fortunate that the agency I worked for was large and had two systems in place that helped me sort things out. A strong Human Resources Department and an Honor Code. Not many people trusted the honor code system and with good reason. What I learned to do was ask for a protected consultation about whether the honor code was being violated. At least once, I know my questions resulted in a new auditing system for our department. Finally, I was also lucky that many employees were covered by a strong union. I wasn’t, but the union’s presence was helpful to all.
The smaller your company, the more likely if you feel you have to lie to protect yourself, the chances are you would be wise to look for another job. That is, of course, if you are doing what you need to do to keep your job.
Eventually, top boss promoted me. In my new job, I discovered I had to fire a number of people. I decided to share the Managing Upward course with my staff. Here is the powerpoint HOW NOT TO GET FIRED I used when training my staff. Remember this is for a social service agency staff.
STAYING STRONG TIP Whenever you have to lie to protect yourself, make certain, you know you are lying, why you are lying, and that you are not violating a higher value.
FUEL MY HOPES: Be kind to me, get kindness badges for you, and help others get and stay strong. Kindness is an Emotional Fitness Exercise. Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.
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