Posted by Rich DiGirolamo on February 4th, 2014 | No Comments
It wasn’t a mistake! You tried to screw others! You were deceitful? You tried to pull one over and now you’ve been caught. You thought you’d get away with it. The boss wouldn’t find out. Your employees would never know they were part of your deceit. The public will have no idea.
But that’s not what happened. Now what?
Up until now most people have thought they only had three options. But there are actually four!
1. Lie – Done well by politicians, sports figures, and irresponsible CEO’s. Although don’t be so sure your Employee of the Month isn’t a big ole scam artist! And even with all the evidence building up against these people they continue to deny, deny, and lie. Even when the rest of us know the truth. Yikes!
2. Play The Word Game – You’ve seen it. Perhaps even been on the receiving end of it. I’m hoping you haven’t been on the giving end. Words and phrases are carefully chosen to confuse people, cast doubt, or appear as if the guilty knew nothing. It’s even more humorous when people start using a vocabulary to which they will never aspire. While facilitating a board retreat a while back some questions arose as to why a Treasurer’s Report had not been issued in months. Coupled with this (and information that the Association President had shared with me) was the issue that the Treasurer was having financial problems of his own. We started hearing words about complexities of a new proprietary finance engine he was putting in place. Coming from a guy who speaks like a regular Joe all the time? Can he even spell proprietary? Ultimately upon enough pushing a report was issued. All monies were still there; although it was clear from bank statements that disbursements and receipts were NOT for typical association business. He resigned from his Treasurer position gracefully, citing personal family matters.
3. Blame others/Cover Up – I lumped these two together for a reason. Typically when people are trying to cover their tracks they end up pointing blame. That blame could be directed at people, a process or an organization. Here’s an example: Back in the day when I was crunching numbers at Avon I was blamed for a $1 million budget error. Of course this resulted in a “meeting” of way too many people. As I walked into the room you had to see the expression on the face of the Director who decided to lower my budget on her own. After she gained her composure, she asked why I was there; to which my boss responded “it’s his work that is being questioned why shouldn’t he be here.” She then defaulted to number 2 when she realized taking me down was not an option. It didn’t matter. Everyone around the table knew where the mistake really was sitting. I learned years later she was asked to resign. Stealing. Shocker. NOT!
The problem with these three approaches is that most of us are sitting and listening and thinking BULLSH*T!
So today I propose a 4th option; an option we need to start demanding from people at all levels in the workplace, from our elected officials and our loves ones.
Here it is….
4. You could always tell the truth. After all it was a mistake, right?