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Sunday, October 06, 2013


The Truth about Lies in the Workplace by Carol Kinsey Goman - Book review

The Truth About Lies in the Workplace

How to Spot Liars and What to Do About Them

By: Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.

Published: June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback, 144 pages
ISBN-10: 1609948378
ISBN-13: 978-1609948375
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

"But if the truth is that we're all liars - if the line between 'us' and 'them' is not as definitive as we'd like to think - how in the world do we deal with lies in the workplace?" writes President of Kinsey Consulting Services, Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., in her insightful and straight talking book The Truth About Lies in the Workplace: How to Spot Liars and What to Do About Them. The author describes the challenging reality that all people lie and use deception, but for different reasons and at different levels of destructiveness, and provides the tools and techniques for identifying liars and how to handle their deception.

Carol Kinsey Goman recognizes that not all lies and deception, terms that the author uses interchangeably, are destructive. The author also points out that since everyone lies to some degree, it is essential to determine who the workplace liars are, whether their small lies are forgivable, and which dangerous lies can do severe harm to others and to the organization.

Carol Kinsey Goman points out that lying is a learned skill that offers an advantage to the undetected liar; encouraging the continuation of deceptions to maintain that edge. Deceptions are usually self serving, but they can also be intended to help others, and some lies are a mixture of both benefits.

Carol Kinsey Goman (photo left) understands that different types of people are more skilled at lying than other people. Indeed, the author presents lying as a learned skill, as a counter measure, detecting a liar is an ability that can be learned and mastered as well.

Carol Kinsey Goman writes that there are four types of liars including the occasional liar, frequent liars, habitual liars, and pathological liars. These liars can be senior leaders in the organization, managers,colleagues, and their actions all have consequences of varying degree for the entire organization.

Carol Kinsey Goman not only offers the tools and techniques for determining who may be lying and what that lie entails, but she also shares the strategies for dealing with liars. The author presents a complete guide to detecting and handling liars in the workplace. The areas covered are as follows:

* Liars at work
* Deception detection: 50 ways to spot a liar
* Why we believe liars and play into their hands
* How to deal with liars
* Do you look like a liar
* Reducing lies in the workplace

For me, the power of the book is how Carol Kinsey Goman combines an overview of liars and their motives, with a comprehensive examination of how to detect and overcome the problems posed by liars and their deceptions. The author provides a direct approach to recognizing the liars in the workplace, whether managers, colleagues, or staff, in a a readily understood format. The entire book is written in a hands on and usability format to provide the skills needed to discover and deal with those often challenging workplace liars.

Carol Kinsey Goman also presents the provocative concept that all of us are guilty of lying, and that the work environment may contribute to the phenomenon of lying. While liars may abound in any workplace, the author offers concrete and actionable strategies for reducing the level of lies encountered at work. Instead of encouraging and aiding liars in their deceptions, the author demonstrates how to identify and reduce the effectiveness of the liar. She also provides methods for creating a less lie friendly workplace, to create a company culture that rewards honesty.

I highly recommend the very hands on and positive outcomes based book The Truth About Lies in the Workplace: How to Spot Liars and What to Do About Them by Carol Kinsey Goman, to any business and nonprofit leaders, managers and executives, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in recognizing liars, uncovering their deceptions, and creating a more honesty based workplace, home, and society. This book will not only reduce the number of deceptions in your life, but also help overcome your own urge to create a self serving deception of your own.


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