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Why People Lie at Work — and What to Do About It

This article originally appeared on Harvard Business Review.

When you’re a leader, you rely on your team members to tell you the truth so you can make thoughtful decisions and feel confident that you know what’s going on. Most of them repay your trust with truthfulness (marked, on occasion, with a bit of self-serving spin). But sometimes, you’re faced with an employee who bends the truth too far, or who lies to you outright. This is one of the toughest managerial situations to face, because it’s hard to be sure what’s really happening, or because you tell yourself that you must be mistaken.

Even when you have concrete evidence of lying, it’s difficult to take action. We’re taught as children that lying is wrong — and devious. We may feel hurt that the other person didn’t trust us, or angry that they were able to manipulate and take advantage of us. But once you’ve gone through the normal reactions of hurt and anger, instead of losing faith in all your team members and your own ability to manage them, what can you do to try to rectify the situation?

Read the full article here.

Onward and Upward —


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