April 2017 | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributors: Adam Galinsky, Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business and chair of the Management Division at the Columbia Business School; Maurice Schweitzer, Cecilia Yen Koo Professor at the Wharton School — authors of Friend & Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both
Improve your ability to detect workplace lies.
Executives are decision makers. They make decisions about hiring, company valuations, product launches, investments, strategic direction, mergers, acquisitions, new ways of doing business, and more. What gets in the way of those decisions most often? Overconfidence. This insidious bias makes us think we’ve got all the accurate information we need, and that our past successes reliably translate into success for the future. It can also blind us to the fact that we’re really, really bad at detecting deception.
Why are so many of us such terrible lie detectors? (If you doubt that premise, recall the astounding number of banks and financial services firms that invested with Bernie Madoff.) First, we’re inherently trusting creatures. Unless we have evidence to the contrary (and sometimes even when we do), we typically trust that people are telling the truth. And second, we’re overconfident in our ability to detect lies.
Lies from your suppliers can erode company profits, lies from customers can misdirect new product investments, lies from colleagues can impact the budget you get for key projects, and lies from your team can lead to missed deadlines and out-of-control budgets. Being able to detect these lies can make a dramatic difference in your success as a leader.
The following six steps will improve your ability to spot a lie that would otherwise trip you up.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, director of Custom Programs at Wharton Executive Education. Nano Tools for Leaders® is a collaboration between joint sponsors Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management. This collaboration is led by Professors Michael Useem and John Paul MacDuffie.
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