My coaching and consulting practice is all about helping people navigate the world of work and helping managers become better at what they do. The following story holds a good lesson for managers and supervisors.
A friend got a new manager who decided right away to address a department issue so immediately formed a committee. At the first meeting of the committee, the manager presented some relevant data in an unusual way. No one thought too much about it, until a month later there was a big data dump in the organization that was totally out of the control of the manager and committee. A lot of information was now readily available and it became clear, based on this, that the manager had presented the earlier data in the weird way to conceal some significant inequities in the department.
Once my friend realized what was going on, she could NEVER trust what the manager said or did again; a shadow of doubt was always there. And this happened in the guy’s 3rd month as a manager! He destroyed trust and had done it practically right out of the gate. Not good. My friend continued reporting to him for several years but lost all motivation to go above and beyond as a contributor in the work group. In the words of the academic research, she stopped engaging in organizational citizenship behaviors.
Deception in the workplace is very often found out and usually results in undesirable consequences. If you find yourself in a situation that compels you to deceive co-workers, either just don’t go there or just spill the beans. An ideal solution to this typically does not exist. But I believe it’s true – when you deceive, trouble you weave. And, once you are busted, the negative perceptions of others are hard to overcome and trust is tough to regain.
The words of Stevie Wonder sum it up: “But when misled who knows a person’s mind Can turn as cold as ice un hum”! Can’t think of a better way to say it; such great language – a mind as cold as ice. Definitely something a manager doesn’t want in an employee.
For complete lyrics, click here: http://www.lyricstime.com/stevie-wonder-you-haven-t-done-nothin-lyrics.html
Crank It Up!!!
This particular Stevie song (You Haven’t Done Nothin’) is one of my favorites. And I must digress, hearing it always reminds me of the world of post-Katrina New Orleans. But that’s another post…
Speaking of Stevie Wonder and New Orleans, we ALWAYS listen to a Stevie Wonder greatest hits collection on the way to the Fest (i.e., the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival), the BEST music festival of all time IMHO. If you’ve ever seen Irma Thomas (the soul queen of New Orleans) there on the first Saturday, you’ve probably seen her show open with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. Those amazing rhythms are a great warm up for her show.
This year (2011) on the first Sunday of the fest, after watching Dr. John for awhile, I made a loop around the grounds and saw (in this order) Pete Fountain, The Decemberists, Tom Jones, John Legend & The Roots, and finally, John Mellencamp. If I hadn’t been so worn out at the end, I would have gone by the Blues Tent to catch Arlo Guthrie. What a great afternoon it was!!