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Honesty in the workplace

Most of us have told a lie at one time or another.

Some lies are harmful and have significant consequences.


Quite often though harm is insignificant but still it can be a distraction, waste time and cost.


Creating and encouraging an honest working environment is crucial to achieving positive business outcomes.


Did you know that all lies require a surprising amount of brainpower to pull off the lie?


Symptoms of anxiety arise because lying activates the limbic system in the brain, the same area that initiates the “fight or flight” response that is triggered during other stresses. When people are being honest, this area of the brain shows minimal activity.

Using up that brainpower can be costly. The brain drain it causes just might prevent you from performing some task or skill that’s important to you. Of course, lying can have unwanted social impacts, too.


Mostly harmless

People lie for different reasons. Sometimes they do it to make themselves look or feel better. Sometimes they lie to get out of trouble. Often, people will tell a fib to keep from hurting another’s feelings. "Yes, I did that thing earlier".


Most people value honesty and want to be truthful, research has shown. If you’re an honest person, people will trust you more. Trust is important in business.


When you tell the truth, your brain doesn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. You think of what you want to say, and you say it. Lying takes much more work



Honest workplaces Creating a culture that promotes honesty, no matter how ugly the truth might be, can be a road to high performance.


  • Share problems and face problems together, no matter how ugly the truth of the reality is.

  • Help people to feel comfortable sharing their thougths, thinking and problems.

  • Don't scold people for doing stuff wrong - we are human and can work together to fix things.

  • Always come first from a place of understanding and curiosity.

  • Help people to work at their best by putting in the place the right systems and processes, including the right training and sharing of knowledge and know how.

  • Encourage people to work together and promote a supportive culture.



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