Monday, March 14, 2011

Silent Lie

Listening to NPR this morning, Al Tompkins (Poyner Institute) said: "I tell my children there are two ways to lie - one is to tell me something that didn't happen, and the other is not telling me something that did happen"

If there is any one ethic that I felt my parents instilled in my soul - it was not to lie.  Lies were considered black and white - no gray in this land - truth or fiction.  Lies had consequences more severe than the activity in question,  "Stretching the truth" or creating "Spin" were just not skills that I ever developed. 

As Fred Owlett said in my Friday Morning Bible Study - "It is always tougher to remember the lie than the truth".  Another important discovery I came upon is the "timing of truth".  Tompkins makes this point above about the second kind of lie - the silent lie.  It is always better to confess to the activity as soon as feasible than to let it be discovered independently (from another source) at a much later time.

Better to confess a problem discovered at work as early as possible - take the consequences and move on to trouble shooting and problem solving.  Al Cambridge at Accenture would always say that about Receivables and Collections - "They stink worse with age."

So if lies are black or white. Does that mean a white lie is good?

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