You may not be a liar, but we all lie sometimes in small business. We tell “white lies” on occasion to make our business look better to a customer or by not being totally honest with the poor performance of an employee.
As I talk about in my first book, “You Need to Be a Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Business,” when I started my second company, my partner and I wanted to seem bigger than we were when our first prospective customer was coming to visit. We bought new furniture from Office Depot (which we returned when they left) and hired our friends to “work” in the office for the day while they were there. We even had the computers dial the office phone numbers so the office seemed “busy.” We “lied” to our prospect, and we got the business.
On The Small Business Radio Show this week, I talked about why we lie with Andrea Beach, who is an entrepreneur, investor, humanitarian, and highly acclaimed life and business coach. Having started, grown and sold several successful companies, she is considered a leading authority on technology and consumer behavior. Andrea has advised Fortune 500 companies, mentored a variety of startups, and created engaging activations for some of the world’s largest brands.
Here is what we talked about (and this time, we are not lying):
- Why we lie in business and the different types of lies.
- Physical signs to watch out for to see if someone is lying.
- How people use avoidance or deflection to lie or become overly aggressive or defensive.
- How to look for inconsistencies or conflicting information when detecting lying.
- When lying is a problem and when perhaps it’s harmless.
- How pathological liars are different.