Should You Lie To The Boss

March 10, 2012 by staff 

Should You Lie To The Boss, Lying in any capacity is generally not advised — especially at work. More often than not, your lies will catch up to you or run away from you. Either way, you’re left in the dust, with a pink slip likely in your hand.

We’ve talked about lying in an interview, at work or on your résumé, but what about when it comes to lying to your boss? Are there exceptions to the rule?

Shawn Achor, a psychology expert who consults companies on how behaviour affects your position at work, says that in every workplace he’s consulted, he’s found that most people lie when there is no “psychological safety.”

“There is no psychological safety when managers don’t allow humans to be humans — i.e. to make mistakes and to not be perfect,” Achor says. “If a manager is unable to hear about negative things, confusion or setbacks, then that manager is going to get lied to often. Good managers want an accurate assessment of the present, even if it is not good. Bad bosses want the semblance of progress in the present, at the cost of future successes.”

Even if this sounds like a position you’re in, it doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable for you to lie, says Mark Goulston, author of “Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.”

“Other than telling your boss something they’re wearing looks nice when it doesn’t, or that they spoke clearly when they didn’t, I can’t think of any instances where it’s okay to lie to a boss. I can think of many instances where you can get away with it, especially when most bosses don’t tell the complete truth,” Goulston says. “I think of those as fibs. The problem is that what starts out as a little bad habit can become a way of life. If you start with a few little fibs, it can be a slippery slope until you’re always doing it.”

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