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A guide to dealing with dishonesty in the workplace

Picture: Unsplash
Picture: Unsplash

Did you know that most people lie during a 10-minute conversation?

On the occasional chance, it’s okay to tell a little white lie. But what about dealing with lies in the workplace? It could lead to a toxic working environment, having a knock-on effect on your mental health.

Life coach and author Lizette Volkwyn knows all too well about dealing with dishonest co-workers after experiencing sexual harassment at a corporate company she worked for.

“I felt violated and disrespected. I knew I had to act – no matter what,” said Volkwyn.

I reported the incident to my director then and, in the beginning, he did everything he could to discredit me and made it seem that I am unfit to run my division”.

Without letting your emotions get in the way, Volkwyn suggests there are constructive ways to deal with liars.

Stand your ground

“The biggest mistake individuals tend to make is to withdraw,” she says.

Liars are bargaining on you not to speak up or call them out. When it affects your reputation at work, you need to raise it, firstly with the colleague involved.

“If you find it is laughed off or ignored, then take it up with your superior and support it with facts.”

Focus on facts

It’s natural to be overcome with emotion when your version of the facts are called into question, but always remember that “liars can only hide behind emotions and manipulation; they cannot manipulate facts and figures”.

Keep a paper trail

Once you start questioning an individual's action, it is time to be vigilant to keep a paper trail, a communication line, as well as an alternative resolution, should the particular individual not deliver on their promises,” advises Volkwyn.

Don’t take it personally

Volkwyn emphasises that the reality is that we cannot affect or force anyone to lie – it is a direct reflection of who they are. You do not have any control over how people react, nor take responsibility for who they are.

Stay focused

Besides playing the blame game, liars are experts in creating accomplices to divert the attention to them. “By staying focused on the job at hand and the environment at the office, the liar cannot pull you into his/her drama, which in turn, will let them be exposed sooner,” concluded Volkwyn.

Written by Marchelle Abrahams.

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