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10 workplace lies which we have all told

10 workplace lies which we have all told

European Business Listicle 17/2019

We all tell fibs every day. Generally, our intention is not malicious, but an attempt to make a situation easier for all concerned. Many lies concern our work and our relationships with our boss and our colleagues. You have almost certainly used some of the following fibs.

“Nice to see you”

No, actually we are really not happy to see a particular colleague who will, without a doubt, either create a lot of work or air a criticism. Nevertheless, we want to start from a positive standpoint, and greet him or her in a friendly manner. In a similar vein are the phrases “Thank you for your email”, or “Thank you for your call." How often have you used these words without really meaning them?

“It’s more or less finished”

You know that this task needs to be completed. With luck, you many have even started it, but it is certainly nowhere near finished. To avoid irritating questions, you feel compelled to assure whoever is asking for it that they can expect the finished piece of work very soon. Of course, that means you now have to complete the task as quickly as possible.

“It’s at the top of my to-do list”

As of now. Before the other person asked, it was somewhere near the bottom. It’s okay though, you can now get onto it immediately, and deliver to your boss or colleague the work that, really, you had no intention of doing today.

“I didn’t get the e-mail”

In about 20% of cases, this is true. In the other 80%, you have no idea what the other person is talking about or you have simply ignored the email. Now that someone has asked you about it, you have to find a neat way to get out of the situation. The solution? You didn’t get the e-mail, so it can’t possibly be your fault. Your colleague will be more than happy to send it again. Not.

“It will be taken into account at the next salary review”

Managers love to use this lie to cut off any discussions about salary and, at the same time, ensure that you as an employee remain motivated. Whether the manager will keep their promise at the next salary review is anyone’s guess.

“He/She is in a meeting”

A phrase that is very frequently used in telephone calls. Someone asks to speak to your colleague, who is sitting quietly at their desk but really doesn’t want to take the call. The said colleague is, therefore, “in a meeting”. The same response is valid if the colleague has gone to the toilet or to lunch.

“I’m waiting for a response from XY”

You had completely forgotten about this issue. You had intended to ask a colleague something but didn’t get around to it. Off you go now, and ask your colleague for their opinion before you are found out.

“We are having some technical problems at the moment”

Due to technical problems, you didn’t get the email, you can’t use the telephone right now, or you can’t do an analysis at the moment. Strangely, your colleagues are receiving their emails without a problem - how can that be?

“You can do that better than me”

This phrase can be roughly translated as “I really can’t be bothered to do this, please can you do it”. A compliment will help to persuade your colleague to take on the task.

“We should definitely do something together”

You like your colleagues and enjoy meeting them - at work. So that no one feels offended, you regularly indicate your desire to do something together. How often does it actually happen? Correct. Never!

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