Lying is the attempt to say that something did happen when it didn’t or that something didn’t happen when it did. It is an alteration of the truth in order to avoid censure or punishment.
I am sure that you have figured out by now that some promises you were given when you started your present job are probably not going to be kept. I thought you might like to know why that happens and what you can do about it.
Most of us realize that hemming and hawing (dancing around the issue of merit increases or continuing employment) are a sign of the evasive maneuver known as stalling, which leads eventually to a flat denial that a promise was ever made. This is often followed by criticism of your work and a threat that you need to improve your attitude if you expect to continue as an employee.
Not all managers lie, by any means, but when they do it is a crushing experience that leaves you bitter and vowing never to be caught like that again. And you won’t be caught in that same way, but you will be caught in some other way by a manager who is ever so convincing until it’s time to pay up or give you the promotion. etc.
Managers lie for the same reason the rest of us lie, when and if we lie. 🙂 They are afraid to come clean with us.
Managers are no different than the rest of us. They lie because they
are afraid to admit that they promised something they never intended to
deliver. They are so ashamed of what you will think of them that they
lie. Isn’t that amazing?
Lying is the result of fear. Whether it is a child lying to you or a
senior executive, the mechanism is exactly the same. The person is
ashamed of what you will think of them, so they give you an answer that
will hopefully get you to go away and leave them alone.
Some people lie compulsively and it is a terrible thing to watch.
These people will say anything in order to escape scrutiny. After a
while there are so many lies piled up that they have very few things
they can tell the truth about.
These people know they are frauds and they bluster and swagger and
adopt all manner of stratagems to make you think they are people of
great integrity. They exude false confidence like a miasma of bad
This is the person who is compulsively performing a pitiful charade
in order to stave off the demons that lurk in every question that might
be asked of them. A simple question like, "Did you read my budget
request?" sets off an entire chain of evasive maneuvers or a tirade
because it threatens to uncover a bushel of omissions and cover-ups.
The closer one comes to uncovering their secrets, the more violent
their reactions will be. I had a vice-president pull me off a project
in the last few days before launch, because I inadvertently stumbled on
a deal she was working with a vendor. When I documented the situation,
the HR person assigned to me said, "You’re not implying that the Vice
President made a mistake, are you?"
Taking my cue from HR’s helpful hint, I refrained from blowing the
whistle and took my disciplinary action like a good little soldier and
decided that I really needed to be elsewhere. Perhaps somewhere saner.
If you are in good communication with someone who lies, you can try
to let them know that it’s not working. A gentle reminder can have an
amazing effect if you can do it in a non-threatening manner.
If you do not see a change for the better, you need to think about
severing your connection with this person, as you will be dragged into
situations where they will expect you to cover for them.
Even if you don’t cover for them, you may still get embroiled in the
situations they have created because you may end up trying to handle
the customer they lied to. Customer support people get a lot of this
when unscrupulous sales people mislead customers to make a sale.
The simplest solution is not to lie and not to associate or deal with those that do.
Life will be so much simpler that you will never look back.