When did you last lie on your job? Was it yesterday or just a few months ago? Whenever it happened, do you look back now and consider why you did it and whether it was worth it?
Looking at the many business scandals throughout the years, at one point or another they began with a lie or amidst a web of lies that seemed too difficult to untangle. Why do people lie?
Personal Gain. Humans like to feel important, and some will go to any lengths to get there. Some people will lie on their resumes to qualify for a position or lie about accomplishments to increase their earning power. Whichever it is, it is often premeditated and very calculating.
Cover up errors. Look at the scandal that involved the U.S. Company ENRON. They dug themselves into a financial hole when they tried to cover up their many financial errors. Those errors eventually resulted in the collapse of the organization. Thousands of employees lost their retirement and life savings, as well as their jobs. The greed of those executives produced a fabrication of what they thought were resourceful ways to disguise the financial mess they created.
Save face. The majority of people who lie do it to get themselves out of sticky situations that are uncomfortable. Often, they do not like how they feel after they have deceived another person. They may not want to go to dinner with a colleague, so they avoid the situation by saying they are sick. They consciously miss an appointment. Instead of the truth, they make up a story about being swamped at work with last minute emergency projects.
It doesn’t matter why you lie. The fact that you do is a reflection on your character. People who lie will eventually develop a reputation of being just that–a liar. Although your colleagues may not accuse you or call you on your shortcomings, they are making a mental note. Your house of lies will eventually topple, and it’s always ugly when it does. You may not become embroiled in public scandal, but the slow and constant erosion of your reputation on the job will probably prove to be more detrimental to your career. Your lies are an indication that your moral backbone is either soft or nonexistent.
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