Why do some of us lie? Why can’t we be accountable for when we screw up instead of using some lame excuse? Do we really think that the world is so stupid they will fall for whatever we tell them?
All of this ran through my mind this week, when after 4, count them, 4 weeks, a person I had emailed twice and left two voice messages (1 contact each week) for the past month offers this lame excuse for just now being able to return an email…..
“So sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I lost my iphone and my Outlook was out of commission all in the same week!”
I read that pathetic response and almost asked, what catastrophe happened during the other 3 weeks you went absent without leave? Give me a break!
Now the fact that I responded “that it was sure a bad technology week” for her, almost lends itself to answering my own question. I let her off the hook, so her excuse as pathetic as it was, actually worked. Although 4 weeks had passed, and given a 40-hour work week is only 160 hours, I let her get away with being unresponsive and unproductive.
Yet if I had told her that her lack of focus, and disrespect for my time and my productivity had an impact we no doubt would NOT still be talking today. I needed to take responsibility for what I could do and let go of what I could not make happen. I just find it sad that we need to endorse people who lie in order to maintain the business relationship.
On the other hand, I have personally found that when I have come straight out and admitted, “gee I dropped the ball on this one, so sorry, how can we get this back on track?” I have developed an even stronger rapport with the person. It is not that I go out of my way to screw up to use this response, but when I do it seems to work better than getting creative with a fable.
So which side of the fence are you sitting on? Does honesty pay well in the end, or is it better to lie now to get what you need?