Thursday, 18 December 2008

Lies, Trust and Chocolate


    Human Resources magazine / Hirescores report that more than eight out of 10 (82%) of office workers lie for their manager on a daily basis, saying that their managers are on the phone or away from their desk, to avoid unwanted conversations.

Lisette Howlett, managing director of notes:

"Companies spend so much time, money and rhetoric on treating customers fairly and yet there is a high level of institutionalised dishonesty. It appears to be part of the normal fabric of doing business."


It's not going to do much for trust within an organisation either.

This is one of the lessons in David Thompson's new book, Trust Unwrapped.  Amongst many other facts and illustrations, this includes a story from 'Thank God it's Monday' in which a PA refuses to tell a caller his boss is out:

" 'I cant do that, you are here' came the response from the new secretary.  After a pause she continued, 'If I lie for you now, you won't know when I'm lying to you'."


The main story is set in a chocolate manufacturer and other businesses, and uses these to show the benefits of allowing people to set their own hours, holidays and workload (eg ROWE) and even prices to develop trust.

My favourite paragraph is this one:

"Business isn't about products and services and stuff a lot of the time.  It's all about feelings, emotions and relationships."


I think if more organisations understood this, there would be a lot less corporate lying than Hirescores' survey suggests there is.



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