In the spirit of our October Gracious Me series on tricks or treating, today we turn our Halloween eye to the art of the trick. The tricky thing about the “trick” is it seems harmless, when really it has the potential to not only harm our personal brand but those on the receiving end, see us as well.
Here are a few thoughts on taming that little thing called trickery…
Just a little white lie… What’s the harm? No one is getting hurt… I said, “I was sick” to coworkers when I wanted to meet a friend for a day of shopping and lunch. Too bad your coworkers have the same taste in restaurants that you and your friend do. The tricky thing about the little white lie is that it can easily snowball into a very dark cloud that is hard to shake. What seems harmless upfront can really affect peoples’ trust in who we are and what we have to say.
What they don’t know won’t hurt them… With all of the fun around social media, it can be easy to “little white lie” to improve our brand. Perhaps you want to be a “chicken roasting expert” but have never laid hands on the bird or you’ve been asked to write about green living but your garbage is over flowing with paper, plastic and glass. Bending the truth never hurt anyone…that is, until real life and social media intersect and now people no longer trust us even in the areas where we really are an expert. As my mother said, “honesty is always the best policy” even if it isn’t the most convenient… keep it real. Your readers will appreciate it.
Saving Face… So you’re running late, and tempted to blame it on traffic… even when traffic happened to be a “red light” or you forgot to call someone back and tempted to say your “husband didn’t give you the message.” As tempting as this little trick might be, own up to your error by apologizing and moving on.
So what can we do? As tricky as it can be, make a concerted effort to live a truly honest life. Catch ourselves when we are tempted even with the whitest of lies. Keep in mind that trust is a gift that others give us and once it’s tarnished with trickery… it’s very hard to get back.
How do you feel about a little trick now or then? Let’s discuss…