Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Don’t trust the boss? Don’t worry, the boss doesn’t trust you either!

Pic: a rather scrumptious looking porkie

According to recent research (mid week groan), two-thirds of managers believe that they can tell when their staff are lying, and 90% don’t believe reasons given for being late for work. But it also seems that these managers are usually kidding themselves.

Those managers who regard themselves as super-sleuths give lack of eye contact, avoiding people and body language as the signals they look for when trying to spot someone telling porkies. But these crude and unreliable indicators should actually brand just about every shy person as a liar.

Those in the know about such things (who presumably run courses in How To Lie Effectively) say that the best way of spotting lies involves careful questioning, looking for irregularities and then following up. Master practitioners (the Black Belts of Baloney Bashing) know how to spot micro-expressions such as a slight twitch, a swallow, an eye flutter.

But perhaps the most alarming statistic in all this is that the average manager only believes 10% of the reasons that are given for late arrival at work and other such lame excuses for under-performance.

There’s been a lot of debate recently about lack of trust of managers; it seems that they are getting their revenge by not trusting the lying little blighters that work for them.


  • Is mutual distrust between boss and subordinate an inevitable part of the working relationship?

1 comment:

  1. Forget the working relationship for a minute, I think there are those of us who are born optimists who believe everything anybody tells us and those of us who are ‘glass half empty’ folks who take everything with a pinch of salt.

    So why is it a surprise that our working relationships are any different to those we have at home? Who of us hasn’t asked the question about a partner who is unusually late from the gym? Do we believe them? Hopefully we do but then again …….

    Obviously if someone has been ‘caught out’ in the past then you are more likely to distrust them then others around you. And it may well change your view of others as well, tar them with the same brush.

    Is it inevitable? Yep, we are dealing with people here!!!