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15 Jun 2015

9 Tips on How to Fight Lies at Work

Knowing how to fight lies at work begins with these 9 tips.

Knowing how to fight lies at work begins with understanding how people can believe them.

Lies influence. Even if people know they are lies, they still do. Knowing how to fight lies begins with understanding them. It follows with knowing a few good tips.

Lies take many forms. They do not have to be purposeful. They can be embellishments. They can be misinformation. “Untold View of Fearing Change” shows lies can even be easy ways to avoid decisions.

They create problems for all of us, any leader, manager, businessowner, business consultant or change management consultant.

How Lies Take Hold as Truths

Lies become truths because people want them to be truths (more). As one article on propaganda put it, “The main reason why people believe propaganda is because it resonates with their own feelings.”

If we do not tap these same feelings, we are not tackling what fuels the fire. For instance, what emotional triggers are being threatened? Logic and reason alone will not win the day.

Strategic Tip on How to Fight Lies

Good relationships are great tools in the fight against lies. People believe trusted leaders over the facts. The messenger does matter. Make it personal in a good way.

For instance, reassuring that we will be there to help is a common relational way to tackle fear of change. Making personal commitments is another way.

Tips on How to Fight Lies

With this strategy in mind, here are eight more tips on how to fight lies:

  1. Choose a great messenger.
  2. Show how the lie could be true if we do not look at the whole picture (“Yes, if we ignore these three things that would be true”).
  3. Put lies in a negative context (“Even if that were true, we would still fail at this”).
  4. Focus on facts that support what people want to believe (“This data shows you are doing well”).
  5. Paint a big, simple picture that works with the other tips.
  6. Make sure the management team is using the same picture and story.
  7. Be confident but understanding.
  8. Follow up and repeat message over and over.

Just as the shape of the glass affects the taste of the drink, the shape of our message will affect how people feel about it.

How to fight lies is like painting. It begins with a good primer called relationships.

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