By Jennifer D. Kluge
April 2, 2009
Last week was incredibly weird. I had several conference calls and meetings where I knew people were not being honest and not giving me a straight answer. In a couple instances they were just plain lying. Why the surge in deceit? What is the problem with saying, hey Jennifer, we’re not going to go with you guys this time and here is why. I am a big girl, tell it like it is.
Then it hit me, they must have NEVER been honest with us. This is their true colors, when things get difficult they mislead, spin, soften, ignore-¦whatever you want to call it. Morals are second to the stresses and pressures placed on them. These times are a good barometer of who you want to work with when the economy gets better.
Here are a few other irritants in recent months:
–No return phone calls, communications after meetings or past business dealings. If this is you, shame on you - it’s rude. I don’t blame your company, your culture, politics; it’s you and you lost my respect. Who might I know that you want a deal from? Perhaps how you treat me will reflect badly on you later. Just a thought.
–Purposely misleading to get your position. Folks, we are smart. We know when there is a spin, we know when tactics are being used. Don’t force others to use similar tactics; it lowers the financial value of any deal. How can you trust any deal when manipulation tactics are being used, which then gives permission to others to use similar tactics. It makes it easier to lose that same deal later in time.
–Bully/Hostage tactics. We have all experienced the negotiations where the bully, or “bad cop” comes in and wreaks havoc. Again, that old school tactic is just plain old.
–Nice to your face and negative behind the scenes. Come on, we need more Simon Cowells (from American Idol) in the world. Tell it like it is, don’t “soften” anything - it can create the misperception of deceit especially in business dealings. As you deliver negative news, if you soften it too much it doesn’t help, it makes you seem less credible and purposely dishonest.
Those that are upfront, honest, and explain the situation and circumstance for any decision get respect and future business in return.
Let me share a Dale Carnegie quote that a colleague reminded me of, “Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Things are going to get better with our economy, but one’s honesty and integrity can never be repaired once it is lost.