Working With Disingenuous People

Dealing with people who use “alternate facts” can be a difficult and complex task. Sometimes the alternate facts are meant to “protect” the person they have been shared with. Other times the alternate facts are small in nature, these are often called little white lies. Occasionally, your relationship with the “truth challenged” individual is so insignificant that it doesn’t matter if they are living in some alternate universe.

But sometimes being lied to is a big deal. It severely, and many times, permanently damages your relationship with the disingenuous person. In those cases the worst thing you can do is ignore the lie, and the liar. Both must be dealt with in a timely and straightforward manner.

But calling out disingenuous people and exposing their lies is not an easy or comfortable thing to do. Here are a few tips that may help.

  1. Recognize the signs: The first step in dealing with a liar is to recognize that they are lying. Look for inconsistencies in their stories, changes in their body language or tone of voice, and any other signs that they may not be telling the truth. You could of course also wait for their pants to catch on fire but unfortunately that doesn’t happen in real life.
  1. Stay calm: It can be tempting to become angry or confrontational when you catch someone in a lie, but this can often make the situation worse. Try to stay calm and avoid getting defensive or aggressive.
  1. Confront the liar: Once you have recognized that someone is lying, it is important to confront them about it. Be direct and specific about what you believe to be untrue, and give them a chance to explain themselves.
  1. Listen to their side: While it is important to be clear about what you believe to be untrue, it is also important to listen to the other person’s side of the story. They may have a legitimate explanation for their behavior or actions.
  1. Set boundaries: If someone has lied to you repeatedly or about something significant, it may be necessary to set boundaries in your relationship with them. This could include limiting your contact with them or ending the relationship altogether.
  1. Seek outside help: If you are dealing with a chronic liar or a particularly difficult situation, it may be helpful to seek outside help. This could include therapy, mediation, or involving a third party such as a counselor or trusted friend.

Ultimately, the best way to deal with liars is to be aware of the signs, stay calm, and confront them directly. By setting clear boundaries and seeking outside help if necessary, you can protect yourself from the negative effects of lying and maintain healthy relationships with those around you.

Want more of LeadToday? I’ve changed things up on my Twitter feed for subscribers. I recently began publishing two or three videos each week focusing on an element of Authentic Leadership. I’ll post these videos each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Sometimes a bonus video pops up at other times during the week. They will be about 10 minutes long so we can get into the topic in a more meaningful way. The investment for subscribers in still only $4.99 a month. That’s for at least 80 MINUTES of quality video content on leadership a month. 

If you’re interested in taking a look, head on over to my Twitter profile page. If you’re not a follower yet just hit the follow button. It will change to a subscribe button and once you hit that you’re on your way. You can cancel at any time you’ve decided you have nothing left to learn about leading the people who you count on for your success. 

Here’s the link to my Twitter… 

The Lunacy of Lying

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Lies are lies. If it’s not the truth it’s a lie, no matter how much you want to believe it. When you tell a lie you damage your credibility, credibility that you need in order to lead. 

Let’s begin with some incredible research findings about deception. 

  • Humans are lied to as many as 200 times a day. 
  • Humans detect lies with only 54% accuracy. 
  • Of the lies we tell 25% are for someone else’s sake. 
  • Children begin deceiving as early as 6 months of age. 
  • Avoiding eye contact is the most presumed sign of lying around the world—even though it’s false.
  • People engaged in normal honest conversation only make direct eye contact 30-60% of the time.
  • Law enforcement officials—including FBI agents, customs agents and judges— performed no better than the average person in detecting deception.

The research suggests it’s harder to tell when someone is lying than we think it is and that around half the lies told go undetected. 

That’s all kinda bad news but it pales in comparison to this absolute truth: the lies we tell ourselves do immeasurably more harm to our ability to lead than the lies we tell others. That’s true because when we lie to ourselves, when we convince ourselves that fiction is fact, we will surely share that lie with others. 

Once you master lying to yourself you will lie to anyone, whether you intend to or not. You actually can become unsure of what the truth really is. It is possible that you don’t even consider an untruth to be a lie. Deception simply becomes a tool you use to manipulate others.

Leading people has nothing to do with manipulating them. Leading requires a relationship of sorts between the leader and the follower. When people feel manipulated they do not trust the manipulator. Absent trust, there can be no relationship. 

Not only does lying damage the ability of others to trust you, it damages YOUR ability to trust others. People who are untrustworthy have major issues trusting other people too.

The people you lead NEED to know they can believe what you say. They need to know that they can trust you. Once, yes once, you’re caught in a lie you make it much harder for your people to follow you.

But I’m betting that you don’t consider yourself a liar. You’re an honest person who maybe just “withholds some details,” or doesn’t exactly tell the “whole truth” in order to allow someone to save face. 

I get that but here’s what you need to get: The absence of truth is a lie. Withholding even part of the truth is lying. You need to be very very careful with the first lie because the first lie very often leads to telling a second lie to protect the truth from the first lie. Lying is the leading cause of more lying. 

Some people excuse themselves for lying with the statement that “the truth hurts.” Well telling someone the truth is like pulling a band-aid off quickly, telling a lie is like pulling it off slowly. The fact is, lies hurt too, they just hurt longer.

Lying is lunacy, it always burns the liar in the end. Even if no one else catches you in the lie, you know that you lied and if you’re a normal person, that in itself will eventually burn you.

Lies almost never work out, the truth almost always does….play the odds, tell the truth! 


The Real Truth About Lying

The first big lie is that there are levels of lying, that lower level, little lies don’t really matter. They do matter and here’s why: lying becomes habit forming, especially those little lies you tell yourself.

They matter because little lies grow into big lies, those little lies also multiply, quickly growing beyond your control. The very first lie you tell will almost guarantee another lie somewhere down the road. The next lie is always bigger than the last but no lie is big enough to hide the truth forever, sooner or later the truth will prevail. 

Sometimes people lie to “protect” others or to “protect” a relationship but the truth is they’re likely really just protecting themselves. They can’t fully explain the truth so they just find it easier to lie. Most lies are “self” motivated, meaning you lie for yourself but you’ll never see that until you’re honest with yourself. That’s how the cycle of lying begins and once it begins it’s very hard to stop.

The truth about lying is that it’s incredibly expensive. It often costs the liar far more than it costs the person lied to. Unless of course the person you have lied to is yourself; that is the most expensive lie of all.

When you lie to yourself you steal your opportunity for success, lies take your motivation to give your best effort away. They give you permission to fail. When you lie to yourself you no longer feel obligated to accept responsibility for your actions. When you tell yourself “you’ve done all that you can” when in fact you know in your heart that you haven’t, then you steal your own opportunity to reach your full potential. 

There are no lies more damaging than the lies you tell yourself because the fact is, if you’re lying to yourself you’re lying to everyone else too. 

That doesn’t mean however that it’s okay to lie to others as long as you’re honest with yourself. Lying to anyone is damaging to your integrity. In business, in relationships, and in life there is no greater asset to have than integrity. 

Without integrity you instantly lose the ability to lead. If your people can’t trust you they won’t follow you. If your people can’t believe you they won’t believe in you. If they don’t believe in you they find it hard to believe anything you say. That makes it pretty tough to truly lead. 

When you lie you lose relationships. Real relationships, every real relationship is built on trust. That’s why when you lie to “protect” a relationship you’re almost always doing more damage in the long run. It may be easier for you in the short-term but if you really want to protect the relationship then tell the truth from the beginning. 

Not only do lies damage relationships with others, if you lie long enough and you even lose yourself. 

When you simply tell the truth, every time, you have much less to remember. There is no need to remember who you told what because you told everyone the same thing. Telling the truth sets you free from the worry of “slipping up” and having to tell another lie to hide the last one. 

One more thing for the doubters reading this: if you don’t believe you’re smart enough to be able to tell the truth without offending people then you’re most definitely lying to yourself. Set yourself free and tell the truth, you’re smart enough to do that.

Why Customers “Lie”

Customers-LieHave you ever lied to a salesperson? I can assure you I have not! I’ve told a salesperson I wasn’t interested at the moment but that I might be later on, even when I knew there was no chance I was ever going to buy something from them. But I wouldn’t consider that a lie. I’ve told salespeople on the phone that I just had new windows and doors installed last month even as my old door was sticking when I tried to open it. But it wasn’t a lie; I was just trying to get the guy off the phone.

Even if that seems like a lie it really wasn’t because I was telling it to a salesperson.

I can however, truly assure you I would never lie to a salesperson that I believed had my best intentions in mind. I wouldn’t lie to someone who wanted to earn money from me instead of make money off me. I would never lie to a salesperson who I believed was acting as a resource for me; in short I would never lie to a salesperson who had earned my trust.

Have you ever been lied to by a customer? I have and I hate it when they do that because I do have their best interests in mind and I do try to be a resource.

So why do they lie?

Because having their interest in mind and wanting to be a resource are not enough. You must prove to the customers that those things are true. When you do that you will have earned their trust and their reasons for lying dissipate quickly.

I’ve said in virtually every sales training session I’ve ever taught that trust is built from credibility. It is important to realize that for many customers your credibility is called into question automatically, simply because you are salesperson.

I know that’s not “fair” because you may have never lied to a customer, but somewhere along the line, another salesperson likely did and now you’re lumped in with them. You must overcome this lack of credibility as quickly as possible to earn the trust of the customer, it is only then, you can successfully complete the sales process.

Let’s imagine we all have a credibility “bank.” When we follow through on our commitments our credibility balance goes up; when we fail to follow through our credibility balance goes down. Here is a sad fact, our “deposits” are much smaller for following through than our “withdrawals” are for dropping the ball. That is why building credibility with a customer is such a challenge.

It all comes down to this: doing what you say you will, when you say you will do it. You must do that over and over again. Honoring your commitments as a professional salesperson is the foundation for any success you may have.

Don’t earn that lie from your customer, make “deposits” in your credibility bank everyday!