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Managers – Why they Lie
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 11/18/2013

Lies xsmall How many times have you been caught off guard and been a witness to a manager or supervisor lying about the real situation regarding your job performance or your standing within the organization you belong to and tell you that everything is fine and there is no need for any concern. Surely it must have happened to you a time or two as it has become a practice in the workplace to lie to people in order to take care of business.

Honesty in the workplace is suffering and straightforward performance feedback or evaluations have been tainted by managers not telling the truth in order to accomplish a pre-determined goal or objective such as a reduction in force or layoff or worst, personal revenge or retribution because they don’t like you or how you might threaten their success.

Managers today have to make a choice whether they are respected for being honest or liked because they know how to lie. A manager that likes everybody and tries to please everybody is unlikely to be an honest person as they compromise too much to make such relationships work. However, the truth is many do it and you must accept it as a matter of fact in the workplace that it happens way to often when your work is evaluated or your contributions to the organizations are unfairly assessed for tenure or promotions.

The first reaction would be a “why me?” or “what did I do to made they mistreat me or different?” and the truth is it may have nothing to do with you at all. It may be the way management has developed a policy to keep employees happy by lying to them and telling them they are doing great when in fact, they may not be meeting the cut to remain employed or a layoff is imminent. The reasons vary but the practice is real.

The first and main thing you have to remember is that most managers are often the bearers of bad news. If they bring you good news it is likely suspicious and short lived. Managers like to exaggerate how people work in order to develop competition between people as they enjoy telling you that you are doing better work than the others and telling the other persons the same thing about their work. I am sure the truth is there somewhere between the truth and the lie but it makes it difficult to assess yourself so that you can make yourself a better worker and more valuable to the team or organization since your feedback is more often not truthful.

Good managers must know that in order to get ahead one does not have to be a liar, a thief or a cheat. A good manager should have courage and behave morally at all times and not blame others for their own shortcomings. Keep in mind that a good manager may be an exception to the rule and identify it as such when you deal with this problem. Good managers also have good leadership qualities. Good leadership has two avenues or options available to them when it comes to under performers – they can coach them, direct them or mentor them to acceptable levels or they can let them go. There is no third option when it comes to effective management practices.

Bad managers lie because they want to or management preaches it. Unfortunately most managers don’t have the courage or intelligence to look another person directly in the eyes and tell them the reality around their job or future. They do what the company wants them to do and no matter how painful it is, they lie to avoid telling the truth.

Once you understand this concept of management you will challenge any and all comments made in your favor and seek the best way to improve yourself or make you a better worker before it is too late.

  1. http://www.careerealism.com/managers-lie/
Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Car’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

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