Here are some of the more popular business lies I hear…or at least some subjects business people are less than 100% open about. Some of them I’ve been less than totally authentic about myself to be honest, particularly when I started off, so here’s a flag in the sand to change that.
Money is still something of a taboo even in business and especially in the UK. I have noted many business people hide how much they pay staff, their trunover and how much their rates (I study body language so the lies are normally pretty obvious). The latter is so widespread that if an independent trainer tells me they earn a certain figure per day I usually deduct 30% in my head to get to reality£££.
Many business people are blagging it, and misleading others as to their experience. If they’re in their first year I don’t blame them, but after that it looks kinda sad. Let’s stop boasting about how experienced we are. A few referral quotes on the website – great, beyond that let’s just let our experience show naturally.
Business people don’t ever swear? What a load of bollocks. Most normal people swear from time to time, and business people are just normal people so let’s cut the crap and not pretend we’re holier than hou alter-boys. I’m not saying we should all become Gordon Ramsey, just that we use our everyday authentic language.
Business people don’t fancy each other either right? Again utter crap. I’m not saying relationship ethics aren’t critical or that we return to the bad old days of sexual harassment, only that repressing and denying sexuality at work does nobody any favours. Why be Victorians 9-5? I for one look hot in my suit 🙂
I do not drink or take other drugs. I used to however and have nothing against them used moderately. Why then do some companies deny that anyone even enjoys a tipple while others create macho drinking cultures. Grow up business, we are not repressed puritans or teenage party goers.
Sometimes customers are misinformed, don’t have your experience or are just plain stooopid. Let’s stop pretending the customer is the only important person around, as while they are of course critical and worthy of respect, there are many other “stakeholders” (to use a phrase that makes me vomit a little) in any financial arrangement. If we do this we will no longer have to be two-faced and customers will hear the sincerity of us giving a realistic amount of damn rather than obviously insincere arse-kissing.
Business in the UK is highly prejudicial to class, with upper classes and those pretending to be upper class still still in charge of the purse-strings much of the time. Nobody says this for some reason but frankly I was shocked by it when I first set-up shop. There is also some class prejudice in the other directions in certain industries. Of course it’s also sexist, racist and ageist but these things are much harder to hide.
Are business poeple rough-tough Sir Allens and Dragoon’s Den wannabes shouting “you’re fired” at their hapless minions? In my experience generally not. Let’s stop pretending we don’t care about other human beings and that “stare-holder value” or some other such cliche is what really motivates us. We have hearts under the shirts.
Vulnerability, Ego and Insecurity in Business
I’ve noticed all these things at work in myself and that forms the basis of this article as much as observations of others. Sometimes I’m jut trying to be positive and I now think that US style positive thinking taken to extremes can be detrimental in a number of ways. On a deeper level, I’ve noticed where a lack of openness, honesty and authenticity often comes from is an unwillingness to admit that I’m a frail human being, have an ego that business can sometimes build and am insecure underneath all that. This is only human, and I’m not going to beat myself or anyone else up for these “failings”. What I will commit to however, and like to encourage in the wider business world, is an effort to move away from fear and lies to cover the fear up. Let’s get real.