I’d like to hope that we still live in a world where our word is our bond. Unfortunately, as I sometimes wryly joke with my family, we live in a nation of swindlers! We laugh about that with tongue in cheek but, in actuality, the amazing interconnectedness provided by technology can also come with a built-in anonymity that makes swindling easier than ever.
In a recent LinkedIn article entitled The Allure of Cheating – and Why It Doesn’t Pay Off (you can read it here), Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways, writes: “… But alas, the temptation to violate the truth for a place on the podium isn’t as rare as it should be.”
Whether it’s someone promising a million dollar email inheritance from some royal relative in another country or spamming to collect your contact information, it can seem honesty and integrity are in short supply.
Let’s take our Case #3 in point:
“What would you do if you had an employee who was trying to undermine your authority behind your back but appeared to be your number one supporter to your face?”
I’m sure you’ve known some liars and backstabbers, people who trample over others to get ahead. How do you handle that when you’re the victim of their undermining behavior?
Here’s how I’d handle it:
The first thing I would do is get two or three examples of irrefutable evidence that the employee is doing these things. I would analyze this evidence and identify the intolerable results it is creating. Once armed with this information, I would have that critical conversation with the employee. I would point out the unacceptable behaviors one at a time and the negative impact each is creating. Then I would ask the employee, What is the problem? Why are you doing this and what do you intend to do to bring it to a halt? I would not mince words with this one because going behind your back is a serious offense. By the way, if it’s my boss the employee is going to, I would have a critical conversation with my boss as well and request that s/he not sanction my employee’s behavior by appearing to support the employee’s position.
I say you always have to be able to look yourself in the eye and be proud of what you see, knowing that you are doing all you can to help others move forward and achieve positive goals. I’m a firm believer that no matter what becomes acceptable in society, your word should still be your bond. Integrity is always a contributor to success that lasts.
Next time, we’re going to talk about troublemakers in the workplace. Case #4 is about the ones who like to light fuses and then sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Know anybody like that?
We’ll talk again soon!