Liar Liar Pants On Fire

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My son is recovering from a tonsillectomy and adnoidectomy. He’s doing surprisingly well, better than his Mommy. Even though he’s recuperating he’s still trying to power through a great deal of discomfort and pain. The doctor prescribed Tylenol with Codeine which he despises. He cannot tolerate the taste. I’ve tried hiding the medicine by mixing it in with his antibiotic, Kool-aid, yogurt, and any other concoction you can imagine. He catches me every time. In a fit of rage he finally said “Don’t lie to me Mommy!”. I felt terrible.

In business you see a lot of examples where people lie. I’m not referring to deception or illegal activity, but those little white lies or the stretching of the truth. Why are we compelled to exaggerate pipeline, the progress of a project, the performance of a colleague, or the hours spent working?

And what if you’re the person lied to? When you uncover a lie, especially from someone you trust, you typically have a reaction that mirrors my son. You’re mad and hurt.

Why do we lie?

A lie is told when someone is afraid. They’re afraid of the person they’re lying to. They’re concerned about the reaction that person will have and the consequences that will follow.

There is a way to reduce the lies told, and the answer is in the response of the person lied to. Instead of becoming angry you should work to understand why this person was not comfortable telling you the truth. You must create an environment that is inviting and develop a rapport with your colleagues. They should view you as someone who will empathize and appreciate the truth. You should view setbacks as opportunities to improve, not as reasons to cast blame.

Sometimes the truth can be hard to swallow, but just like medicine it’s good for you. A lie will only result in a continued failure to take the necessary steps to improve, and more detrimentally, distrust in the people you need to trust.

How do you react to a lie?


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.
One Response to "Liar Liar Pants On Fire"
  1.' Jay McKeever says:

    It’s kind of funny, medicine and lies both get swallowed and can both make you stronger but only in small doses!

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