Boss lies

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What to do if you catch your boss in a lie

February 19, 2019

Every boss lies from time to time. It comes with the territory. Think of the best boss you've ever had, and I guarantee there was a time he/she had to give you misinformation, whether it was to protect a company secret or confidence of another employee. 

I once had a boss who lied so much it became a joke around the office. He lied about anything and everything for no apparent reason. If he said it was sunny outside, we'd go to a window just to check. That's how bad it was. Other than his habit of telling tall tales, he was a likable enough guy and nobody seemed to get hurt by any of his lies, so we just chalked it up to it being a "thing" for him. But what do you do when you catch a boss you have trusted and respected in a lie? According to a great piece in The Harvard Business Review, the very first thing you should do is STOP AND THINK. 

Is the lie big enough to act on? It's never fun to be deceived, and while it may forever alter your relationship with your boss, is it really worth calling him/her out on it? Are you willing to leave your job over it? (Sadly, it could happen)

What could his motivation have been to lie to you? Try putting yourself in his shoes and examine the lie from his angle.

If you still think the lie needs to be addressed, keep your tone nonaccusatory and approach him with statements such as, "I could be seeing this all wrong, but...". You may never get the clarification you were looking for, but both of you may learn something from the ordeal.

Read the full article from The Harvard Business Review here