There are no half-truths, only whole lies; yet telling only a fraction of the truth is extremely prevalent in the business world. Most half-truths are told because we want to protect someone, deflect blame, or take the easy way out.
We’ve all been there: a customer places an order over the phone, and you somehow failed to carry it out. Weeks later, when he hasn’t received his product, you rush to protect your reputation by blaming the delivery service.
However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s better to fess up. These little white lies can chip away at your reputation and your peace of mind. A cycle of distrust will run throughout your whole business network, if you depend on half-truths.
Personally, I believe in telling the whole truth. I’ve done so throughout the process of building and running my company, and I’ve reinforced its importance with my employees. Sticking with the whole truth has brought us great results, and here’s why I think it will help you, too:
White Lies Are Bad for Your Health
Even if the lie you tell your customer or business partner goes unnoticed, the act of lying can alter your state of mind. According to Linda Stroh, a professor emeritus at Loyola University, even seemingly insignificant lies will take a toll on your health.
“It takes a lot of negative physical and mental energy to maintain a lie,” said Stroh. “We have to think before we answer, and we have to plan what we say and do, rather than saying and doing what comes more naturally.”
This is energy you could’ve spent working on creative solutions for your business or enhancing your products. A host of physical problems can emerge from a lying mind, too. Studies show that the more you lie, the higher your stress level, heart rate, and blood pressure rise.
J.R. Garrett is Co-founder of LogoGarden, and has recently taken on the role as General Counsel for PharmMD, an innovator in healthcare solutions. J.R. has years of startup experience, including early-through-late stage VC portfolio businesses. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and thrives on the opportunity to create value in his businesses, for all stakeholders.
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