Skip to main content

Do you swear to tell the truth?




Yesterday I picked up my son Sam from school.
When we came home and I unpacked his schoolbag, I noticed there was a toy in there that didn't belong to him but to the school.

When I asked him about it, he said he got it for Christmas.
When I probed him a bit more he said his teacher gave it to him as a present.
And when I asked him if his teacher would confirm that to me he admitted he liked the toy, secretly hid it in his bag and took it home...

Because my son is only 4 years old he's not very good at lying. Moral Development hasn't quite kicked in yet.
But by the time he is an adult, he will probably be a lot better at it. And he will still tell several lies a day.

Six, to be precise. According to research.

As adults we lie during presentations, during job interviews. We lie about purchases we made. We lie to friends and to strangers. We lie about how we feel.

Mostly with just one simple reason: to avoid confrontation.

So does the truth always set us free?
If we want to lie a little to get along or bail us out of awkward situation are we betraying our authentic self?

Here's my two cents.

Perhaps this is my Dutch Directness speaking, but I believe the answer is that the truth almost always sets us free. The key is to check in with our intentions first.

Do we wish to tell the truth because we are frustrated with the feelings of guilt building up?
Then of course it feels damn good to tell the truth. It's like taking a emotional poop (excuse the metaphor) which provides instant release from pressure.

But when you are just dumping your emotional turds on others (excuse the metaphor again, but I'm on a roll now..) you are flushing your relationship down the toilet.

Do you wish to tell the truth to connect closer to your colleague, client, partner, friend or boss?

Then the worst truth is always better than the best lie. 

At InterACT we give workshop participants the opportunity to practice these open and honest conversations with professional actors. And every single time the biggest eye opener is that no matter how badly they think someone will react when they tell the truth, the lie often causes more dismay that honesty.

This morning I dropped my son of at school.

I asked him if he wanted to tell his teacher what happened. He firmly shook his head and said he was afraid his teacher would get mad at him for stealing.

"It takes courage to tell the truth, Sam." I said.

And for a while we said nothing.

Suddenly he looked up at me and said he changed his mind.
And a few minutes later, with blushing cheeks, eyes down and squeezing my hand tightly, my little boy struggled through the words to tell his teacher the truth.

And his teacher?

She kneeled down and gave him a big hug.

"I know that must have been hard to tell me you took that toy. But I am so glad you chose to be honest about it..."



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

3 Benefits of making role play part of training

Role-play long has been a common training method among military branches, emergency response groups, and companies where quick decision-making is highly valued. So why not in the world of business training? Over the last few years, it seems role-play has been incorporated more often in business training curricula, and for good reason. For example, sales teams that continually engage in role-playing are more likely to outperform their non-role-playing competitors. And managers that get to experience authentic role play sessions turn out to be stronger and more confident leaders.  Benefits of Role-Play Here are just a few of the benefits of making role-play a part of your business training:
1. It builds confidence: When your team role-plays, you can throw any number of situations at them. Role-playing provides a safe environment to encounter these scenarios for the first time, which builds confidence in team members that can help them in their day-to-day roles.2. It develops great listenin…

5 Reasons NOT to use Fellow Students in Roleplay Simulations

Perhaps you've heard this before: Global spending on training tops $350 billion annually. 

Estimated is that more than 15% of this goes towards 'Soft Skills' development with the vast majority focused on Communication Skills, Coaching, Feedback, Conflict Management and Self Awareness. 

That's A LOT of money spent on trying to improve people's interpersonal skills, leading to a growing demand for a high return on investment. The logical next question is, what training method is most successful when it comes to implementing the newly acquired knowledge into day-to-day workplace interactions? 

Research consistently shows that one of the most effective ways to achieve success and a high return on investment is to simulate a real experience by incorporating Role Play into the training programs. 

Roleplay gives workshop participants those “in-the-moment” experiences and it allows them to experiment with the new behaviours in a safe-to-fail setting. Sadly, many trainers and w…

The Secret of Great Roleplayers

Recently I recruited for a new corporate actor for our growing team. 
During one of my interviews, I asked the actor sitting in front of me what he thought to be the most challenging part of corporate acting. His answer: 
“Challenging? If you know your lines you should be ok, right?”
Wrong.
The art of corporate acting is a lot more than just learning the lines of a role-play scenario. 
Corporate actors are expert improvisers and can create believable characters and in-the-moment performances. You know that feeling when you watch actors on stage or film, and you are transported to places that seem real and believable. Well, the same applies when actors take on corporate roleplay. The person they are interacting with quickly forgets they are with an actor, as the situation comes to life.
At InterACT we only work with first-class role-play actors.Our actors are trained to create those ‘real’ situations in imaginary circumstances so that participants can practice interactions as if they are re…