Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Ever wondered how to become truly invincible – I mean Rock Solid; impenetrable; bullet-proof? The answer is much simpler than you expect. It is…. Be the Truth.
Being the Truth is a simple concept; in every situation in the workplace (and at home), we should always be faithful to the truth of whatever it is we’re dealing with. This means:
- …not dressing up a bad situation to look good
- …always sharing threats as well as opportunities
- …disclosing all relevant information
- …avoiding political pressure to hide information
- …introducing clarity from a confusing situation
As I said, it’s a simple concept. But the reality is, Being the Truth is a heck of a job. In our workplaces, we find ourselves under a lot of pressure to Be a Lie. More often than not, it is political pressure that comes to bear. This is when we are implored or instructed to hide details, or plain lie, so we don’t disrupt an initiative, or make someone look bad (the latter being the reason 99% of the time). This pressure almost always comes from ‘The Management’. The pressure is not always direct, and often in the form of a perceived threat of some sort, e.g. a denial of promotion, disciplinary action, increased pay, or simply just pissing the boss off (which results in the former three anyway).
I feel this pressure – you probably do too.
Being the Truth is not easy.
So you might be wondering why I am suggesting that Being the Truth makes us invincible?
Well the Truth is the absolute reality. It is the state of the world, and nobody can change that at any precise moment of time. I can’t change the color of the sky in the same way I can’t stop that project being overspent right now. So therefore, the Truth is unmoveable. When we Be the Truth, our position on anything is clear, and solid. The only thing to discuss is the future!
When We ‘Be’ The Truth, We’re Protected By It
OK – it’s easier to get this by demonstrating the opposite – what happens when we ‘be’ a lie. You see, when we lie we then protect the lie to avoid the truth coming out, or to avoid the embarrassment of being found out. So we often stay clear of conversations connected to the lie, or we might lie further to cover it up. We begin to be in denial about the truth and our behavior becomes defensive, tricky and subvertive. We’re forced to remember a huge amount of false information and all the connections between them, who we said it to, when, etc. The Web of Lies. We leave ourselves open to attack from anyone who can offer a substantiated truth, from any angle. The whole house of cards can come down at any moment! If you’ve been in this situation, you’ll remember how stressful and how totally destructive it is.
Also, and I don’t know about you, but when I lie it feels bad inside and it damages my self-esteem.
But when we be the truth, nothing can attack it! It protects us, and allows us to focus on our work at a high productivity rate because we don’t have to worry about maintain the matrix of falsehoods in our brains!
Is This Spiritual Nonsense?
This is plain common sense, really. It’s not spiritual dogma. In plain terms:
- If you lie, you have to keep lying, and it’s harder to keep up the web of lies going because they’re not reality. At some point, you will slip up.
- If you’re truthful, then it’s irrefutable, like the color of the sky is blue. It might not always be what you want to hear, but expectations and situations can be changed. Reality can’t.
Is This Ignoring the ‘Grey Areas’ of a Situation?
Being the truth is having integrity to what we know is reality, although reality is perceived. So it’s ‘our’ reality and therefore ‘our’ truth. Sometimes, perception doesn’t always give us the entire truth, and sometimes, a mistruth.
Situations in our workplace have grey areas, e.g. we might think that a whole raft of layoffs is due to profiteering (how we might perceive it at first), but then discover from a convincing manager that the layoffs are about company survival, because if profits don’t increase then the company financiers will pull out. Everyone involved in this situation will have their own perception of which is the greater truth, which possibly changes as the situation changes. It’s a ‘grey area’.
‘The sky is blue’ is true as a general perception, and it also becomes a big grey area when the storm clouds blow in (if you pardon the pun).
Pretending an old truth is still king, perhaps to save face, is really a lie.
Being the truth is also about adapting what we perceive as the truth when new information is presented (that is, information we believe in and trust).
The Skill of Being the Truth
So you want to be invincible then? You’ll face adversaries that will try to convince you that their lies are in fact reality. These people will try every trick in the book to get you to buy into their lies. Even threats and blackmail. And you’ll also experience people who have different information than you, and therefore have a different perception on the truth (you must listen to these people and adapt if necessary).
The problem is – how can you tell the difference between these sets of people?
The answer: ask enough questions of someone, probe around, cross-reference information, read body-language, and you’ll have a good chance of spotting the angels from the sheisters. The liars will be forced to develop and maintain a ever-increasing web of complexity in their heads to protect the lie. At some point, they’ll trip up.
Now I am not suggesting you should be cynical and suspicious of everyone you meet and engage with. You’re hardly likely to have a polygraph to use on your CEO. What I am saying is that before you adjust your Truth – your very being – then ensure that the information you’re using is credible and trustworthy. This is the toil we must face.
Be the Truth
You can be invincible too – you don’t even need a cape and lycra. Adopt the principle of upholding the truth and hang in there, as it’s going to be a tough ride.