Telling little lies to stay invisible

Lots of managers tell little lies.  Not because they want to deceive someone, but just to help them say something to a member of their team that they would find difficult otherwise.  After all, telling someone something awkward can be so much softer if you pretend to be a neutral route for the information.

So rather than saying “I have decided to restructure …”, a manager might say “I have been asked to review …”.  Or, rather than saying “Your attitude …”, a manager might say “I’ve had reports that your attitude …”.

For most managers this seems to make bad news so much easier to convey, especially for those that find any form of conflict or confrontation difficult to handle.  It also makes hearing the bad news so much easier if you think the person telling you is not responsible for it.

This can become a bit of a habit for a few managers.  Whenever they need to explain where a decision or viewpoint originates, they tell a little white lie to divert the focus away from themselves.  After all if it makes the process easier then why not?  It also means that so much more can be conveyed this way.

Gradually their influence grows, but the side-effect is that their influence also becomes invisible.  Some managers prefer it that way.

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