Giving Liars a Second Chance


Liars lie for gain, protection, or harm. Lies are self-serving manipulations that violate trust. Some lies are malicious. Others are spoken for personal gain. Still others are silent omissions. The lies we tell include:

  1. I’m sick.
  2. Customers come first.
  3. There’s just this one little problem.
  4. People are our most valuable asset.
  5. That’s great.
  6. I came up with the idea.
  7. Sorry, I missed your call.
  8. I’m on my way.
  9. I’ll call back later.
  10. You’re doing fine.
  11. I didn’t get the email.
  12. It’s not personal.
  13. I never got your message.
  14. It was their fault.
  15. I have it done.
  16. I don’t know.

Caught in a lie:

I asked Bill Treasurer, author of, “Leaders Open Doors,” for his thoughts on giving liars second chances. Bill said, “I hate to straddle the fence, but I’d probably say, “It depends.”

  1. Why was the lie told? Was the liar protecting someone? Were they protecting some deeply held secret of their own, the exposure of which would harm them? Or did they lie to keep from the discomfort of being “in trouble”? The former is easier to forgive. The latter is an escape from discomfort (sometimes called “cowardice”!).
  2. Did the person fess up about the lie, or were they caught?
  3. Is the lie an outlier? Or is it an extension of other lies, or worse an escalation. If it’s a behavioral outlier, I’d be more forgiving and remind them of the damage that lies bring to the trust in a relationship.

When should liars get second chances?

When should liars be sent packing?

Related: “12 True Behaviors that Expose Liars

FREE BOOK: Leave a comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to win one of twenty-five complimentary copies of Bill Treasurer’s book: “Leaders Open Doors.”

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