Those of you who know me know that I love a good challenge, and that I cannot tell a lie to save my own life. I just read a very disturbing article on LinkedIn, Experts Say Lying Can Build Trust, which talks about the results of a social experiment involving benevolent deception. According to the article, “It appears that when I lie to you for the purpose of helping you, you trust me more, even when you know I’m lying.” I don’t buy it. Here is one recent example for it.
Late last year, a dear friend gave me a great referral for a new client — someone looking for a new website. Having built a few websites for several community groups, colleagues, and family members, I was confident I could help this new client out so we met to assess needs, and go over nice-to-haves and need-to-haves. “We need to have a store.”
I’m sure the client heard me swallow the golf ball that magically appeared in my throat, and then it happened. It just dumped out of my mouth, right there, without thought, out loud for everyone to hear: “I have no experience building a store. But if you trust me, I’d like to use your project to learn. I will invoice you only for actually productive time.”
I could have whitewashed my lack of store-building skill to make the customer comfortable. I could have inserted little factoids in a verbal recitation of my resume to help the client feel like I knew what I was doing with a store, but I would have known it was a lie. I would have had to remember what lie I told and how big or little or white or gray it was. Would I have been caught? Probably not by the client. Definitely by God and in time.
I have no poker face. I tell the truth because it’s easier, it’s liberating, and it’s always the truth. Truth works. I got the job.
By the way, I’m pretty happy with the way the new Return of the Nightingale site turned out, and I’m very thankful to the WordPress and WooCommerce communities for making my work so rewarding!