Sometimes we can’t help it. While we may not be the office Pinocchio, spouting lies while our noses get increasingly bigger. There may be times in our career we are tempted to stretch and bend the truth in little ways just enough to stay out of the hot seat with our boss.
This kind of dishonesty doesn’t come from bad, self-serving, or malicious motivations. It often stems from the desire to please others, even if it’s at our own expense. In the long run, these little lies, while made with good intentions, can not only interfere with your best interest, but also you co-workers’ and managements’ interest as well.
Sometimes lying can be so easy, we may not even realize we’re doing it until it’s too late. Here are some basic lies we tell our bosses and solutions in how we could better handle the situation.
No Questions Here
Remember that rush of excitement after receiving that first big solo assignment? There is also that sinking feeling when the instructions or guidance didn’t make any sense. The boss asked if there were any questions, but nobody wants to be that person who doesn’t understand what’s going on, so no questions were asked.
The problem is that if we have questions, we will need the answers in order to do the job right. If you are worried about sounding unintelligent, preface the questions with, “I just want to be certain I completely understand everything.” It’s better to clarify and do a great job than to appear competent and not meet expectations.
I’m on it
Sometimes it can be a normal workday with a full work load, then the boss walks in to ask one more favor or task to take care of that day. Instead of being honest with how much work that request adds to your work load, a whole hearted, “I’d be happy to” is heard with a giant grin.
The manager expects those who make promises to keep their word. If a new assignment interferes with other job duties, ask the supervisor which tasks have the highest priorities so the most important tasks are completed first. The boss may have just forgotten how much work is on each employee’s plate and can find someone with a lighter load.
Everything is Going According to Plan
For a while, this may be true. Project timelines and scheduled events may be perfectly on task, but life will always get in the way of even the most perfect of plans. It happens to the hardest of workers, but nobody wants to appear behind schedule. That’s why most workers who fall behind on their duties will wipe their forehead and say, “Everything is fine!” when the boss asks how the project is coming along.
Juggling multiple projects might not seem like a big deal as long as everything is finished by the deadline, but lying about the status leaves no room to act should something go wrong before then. There might be a moment when input from the boss is needed before proceeding with a project, but the lie could have kept any questions from being asked since the manager was told that the specific part had already been completed. It’s just better to be honest with a sincere, “I’m working on it.”
Little white lies may seem innocent and are often told with the best of intentions, but they can come back in the long run and disrupt the workplace before anyone realizes it. Honesty is always the best policies and managers are more forgiving when mistakes come from sincerity. What are some of the other big lies told to bosses that come back to wreak havoc on the workplace?