“Hi. I’m just phoning to check where my goods are as I have been waiting in all day for them to arrive.”
Meanwhile in the office, “Hey, Mr Millward is on the phone and he’s been waiting in all day for his order to be delivered. What’s happening with it as I can’t see it on the system?” Darren shouts back, “Oh no, we forgot to put it on the truck. Tell him that the truck broke down and we will try to deliver later (not that we can) but if not it will be next week.”
I wonder how many times in a business that similar conversations take place? Would it not be better to admit the mistake, make some special effort to deliver the goods with an apology and compensation? After all it’s most likely the customer won’t believe you as a good company would have called to let the customer know if the truck had broken down and given updates without being asked. What happens when the goods are delivered and during the conversation with the truck driver he knows nothing about the so-called breakdown? Lying in business quite rightly causes huge distrust and damages relationships between the business and the customer.
Between family and friends lying too can destroy relationships that might have taken years to build. Is telling a lie really worth it? We all make mistakes and it can be a very human thing to do to lie our way out of it. The question is though, ‘are you more drawn to a person who admits their mistakes and is honest, or, would you prefer not to know the truth and be led to believe something else?’ I think the answer for most of us is that we would prefer the truth.
In everyday life though are we not lied to by the people that we are supposed to trust? Politicians and other prominent people often lie either directly or by using clever words make people assume something that is not truthful. Many parents lie to their children. When a child wants something from the shop would you say, ‘I don’t have enough money with me’, or tell them truthfully that you are not going to buy it today to teach them patience and other good qualities?
Dare I mention all the lies which are told at Christmas time that all the children’s presents come from Santa Claus (Father Christmas)! It’s interesting how parents are willing to do this and hand over the love, care and all the work that went into being able to buy those presents to a mythical figure dressed in Coca-Cola’s corporate colours.
Little White Lies
People will often try and differentiate a lie. A little white lie is an expression used that means it is a harmless fib or a small untruth, often done to spare someone’s feelings or for some other diplomatic reason. An example of a white lie is when you tell your mum that her cake was fantastic when it tasted terrible. The reality though is that a lie is a lie no matter how we try to rank it. Can a woman be a ‘little bit pregnant?’, which I think makes a valid point that some things are either yes or no, on or off with no midway point.
Even if we are trying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings it is better for them if we tell the truth in a very tactful way. If you have ever watched talent shows such as X-Factor during the early auditions you will see contenders who can’t sing a note. Their family and friends, however, have told them how wonderful a singer they are and now whilst on national television they are being made fun of. I am sure that this has caused a great deal of distress for those individuals.
Honesty is the Best Policy
It has often been said that ‘honesty is the best policy’ and isn’t it refreshing when we meet those people that act that way as they speak to us and tell the truth.
Have you any examples of where people have told you the truth rather than try to cover an error with a lie? Please leave a comment in the box below.