What do you do when someone is outright telling a LIE?! Believe it or not, dishonesty in the workplace is more common than most people realize. It is important to decide which dishonesty battles to fight and this can be a challenge. If you decide to challenge someone, below are a few tips to help you address the deceitful behavior objectively.
- Take a minute. Once you realize someone is being untruthful, don’t say anything right away (unless you feel you absolutely have to). Instead, calmly say something like, “This seems off. I need to take a minute to think about what is happening or just happened. Let’s plan to talk in a few days (or sooner).”
- Grab a pen and a pad. Find a comfortable place to be alone and write down your thoughts and feelings about what happened. Afterwards, walk away for 20 minutes, then re-read your entry and identify no more than three main points of concern.
- Think out loud. Calmly talk to yourself about the dishonesty that you feel has occurred. This type of self-talk does not classify you as crazy.
- Find a sounding board. Ask an objective person to hear your concerns and give you feedback. It is important that you are open to the feedback and are not defensive. Using a therapist or coach is perfect for this type of matter.
- Take another minute. Reflect on the conversation you had with your sounding board and determine if the person in question was being dishonest or if they may have been misunderstood or misinformed.
- Identify the behavior. When you re-engage with your co-worker, it is important to stay focused on the behavior. The best way to do this is to speak to how you felt about what they did/said. This can best be captured in “I feel … when you …” statements.
- Address the situation personally. Request a time to re-convene. One hour should be enough time. During the meeting be calm, focused on the behavior and open-minded. This will allow you to be more objective and increase your chances of being heard.
Congratulations for having the courage to deal with dishonesty head on! While the outcome may not be in your favor each time, you will have stood up for yourself and been your biggest advocate. Good luck to you!