The story is told of a country store owner who was in the back of his store. He saw his young clerk at the front talking to a customer. He was horrified as he heard the young man tell the woman, “No, ma’am we don’t have any of that and looks like we won’t for quite a while.”
The store owner ran to the front frantically and blurted out, “Yes, we have it on order, and it’ll be here next week. Don’t you worry about it.”
As soon as the woman left, the owner reprimanded the clerk. “Don’t you EVER tell a customer that again. You have to cover up the fact that we are out of it with the statement that it’s on its way, even if you know it’s not on order.”
“Yes sir,” dutifully responded the young clerk.
“By the way, what was she wanting?” asked the store owner.
“Rain,” responded the clerk.
Telling a small or large lie has become second nature to many of us. We are even encouraged by our superiors or co-workers to stretch the truth. While lying may serve to offer a short-term relief, it ultimately breaks long-term trust, something that is much more problematic than a short-term problem fix. As one of the Seven Influence Traits™, lowering our trustability lowers our integrity AND our ability to influence.
We don’t often see that we are lying because we simply maneuver the truth, obscuring areas we don’t want uncovered.