Friday, February 19, 2010

Killing Trust by Omission

"I didn't lie. I just didn't tell the whole story."

"Oh, so you deceived."

"No, no. I didn't intend to deceive. I just didn't mention anything that might have disturbed the other person."

"But you were aware that the omission would cause the other person to believe something that you knew was not true."

"Well, yeah. But I didn't lie."

"How do you think that person will feel if the news of your creative editing is revealed."

"I don't know."

"I'm not sure if you're being honest about that. How would you feel?"


Jeff said...

Reminds me of a conversation I had early in my sales career with one my managers. I was concerned about the outcome of a project and mentioned that I didn't want to lie to the client.

His response was "it's not lying - it just depends on how much truth you want to tell."

Then again, the same man once said to me to always tell the truth since the truth never changes. When you lie, you have to remember the last lie you told.

To this day, when someone asks me what should they tell the client, my answer is "only the truth".

And make sure you have a solution at hand...

- Jeff

Michael Wade said...


Telling the truth certainly simplifies things. I've found "I screwed up" to be a very useful expression.