Lying in the workplace is something that happens every day in every company. It has become common nature for people to use deception and lies to quietly sway the decision-making processes imperative for an organisation to succeed. My question is to you reader is : Why do people lie in the first place?
One theory about why people lie is that the need to lie is deeply rooted in the subconscious. Lying was a survival skill that kept dishonest early humans alive longer than honest ones. Lying is a skill that is learned rather than inherently known, and it is actually considered a milestone in brain function when lying is achieved by toddlers. Lying begins at a young age and keeps continuing on through teenage years and into adulthood.
Although almost everybody lies, there are four distinct types of liars seen in the workplace:
- Occasional Liars:
- This is where most of the lying population falls. These people do not like lying, but will do it sometimes. They are very easy to spot in a lie.
- Frequent Liars:
This group of people lies often. They are so practiced that their lies become harder to define.
- Habitual Liars:
These types of liars lie all day. Lies become a part of their everyday communication.
- Pathological Liars:
This group lies instinctively and not necessarily for personal gain. They also tend to believe what they are lying about.
Lies also happen at all levels of a company, including:
*Senior Leaders: This group has the most impact because their employees look to them for direction. Goman’s study found that this group tends to omit information or mislead employees from the whole truth.
*Managers: Managers are the people who are closest with employees. Unfortunately, the lies managers were most often observed making were ones regarding responsibility for the success or failure of a situation, and not keeping their promises.
*Colleagues: Many of the lies that employees make are small and do not result in huge consequences for the company. The biggest lies that employees make deal with backstabbing and unethical work.
The biggest liars in the workplace are varied and can come from any type of background. Differences include:
*Gender: Although both men and women lie, they lie differently from one another. Men are more likely to seek personal gain and will tell lies that make them look more impressive. Women will tell lies that revolve around themselves, but that focus directly on other people. They also tend to lie mostly to other women.
*Socioeconomic Class: In Goman’s study, people of a higher economic class were shown to be more likely to lie than those from a lower economic class.