Lies We Tell at Work

Are We Really All a Bunch of Liars?


A recent article from the career experts at Careerbuilder is called "Five lies we all tell at work," and I'm wondering if the title is assuming too much. They suggest that lying is just as much a part of workplace culture as gossiping, but reinforce that we'd all be better off telling the truth for the sake of a healthier work environment. Here are the five lies they say permeate the workplace along with their recommendations for improvement. Tell me if you're guilty of lying in the ways they've outlined, or maybe you're a cubicle angel?

  1. I'd be happy to: Not always said with sincerity, it's important to learn how to prioritize tasks given to you by your boss. If you're not sure, ask them which tasks are most urgent — not only will that help you do your job better, but it will remind your boss how much you have on your plate.
  2. No, I don't have any questions: Instead of staying silent, ask questions that will help you do a better job and preface them by saying that you just want to make sure you understand everything.
  3. My alarm didn't go off: Be honest about why you're late and be armed with an explanation for why you're always late if that's the case. Another option is to simply apologize for being late and get straight to work.
  4. I'm not sick — it's just allergies: If staying home when you're sick isn't an option because you have too much work or don't have any days left to take off, they recommend telling co-workers, "I hope I'm not coming down with a cold; I have many things to do." (This really doesn't make sense to me at all!)
  5. I'm right on schedule: Instead of telling this lie about a project you're behind with, tell your boss "I am working on it," which lets them know you're hard at work without lying about how much you've accomplished.
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