Business Politics Practices – Lie with Impunity

StrategyDriven Business Politics Practices Article | Business Politics Practices – Lie with Impunity | LyingLying is wrong. Business politicians master the art of manipulating and misrepresenting facts to elicited a desired response. They do this by making ambiguous assertions providing the necessary false impression with an accountability escape route.[wcm_restrict plans=”62737, 25542, 25653″]

Plausible Deniability

Plausible deniability is the ability to avoid responsibility for knowingly false assertions because of a lack of evidence tying the perpetrator to knowledge of the facts. Purposeful use of specific terms and phrases combined with a selective memory establishes the conditions for asserting plausible deniability. Such key works and tricky phrases accompanying knowingly false or misleading statements include but are not limited to:

  • I understand that… INSERT FALSE ASSERTION
  • I was told that… INSERT FALSE ASSERTION

Each of these phrases attributes the inaccurate knowledge or conclusion to an unnamed third party. Selective memory ensures the third party remains unknown thereby deflecting blame for the false or misleading assertion on the unknown other.

Another tactic for maintaining plausible deniability while asserting a false or misleading premise is to do so while asking a question. Such questions reference the unknown third party, whether that party exists or not, and simultaneously suggesting an endorsement of their position. Examples of such questions include:

  • Have you seen that… INSERT FALSE ASSERTION
  • Have you heard that… INSERT FALSE ASSERTION
  • Have you read the report/article that… INSERT FALSE ASSERTION

Of course, if you find an article or report known to be misleading or false, particularly if from a somewhat credible source (even the best are wrong and/or biased some of the time), you can reference it directly and still maintain your plausible deniability.  Selective memory is used in all other cases.

The Defense

StrategyDriven does not endorse lying in any of its shades of gray forms. That said, we recognize the practice of lying as a primary weapon within the business politician’s arsenal. Thus, you must be vigilant in monitoring for such lies and ready to defend yourself, your position, and your allies against such misleading assertions.

To defend against other’s plausibly deniable positions, challenge them – demand identification of their sources and, when unknown, push for follow-up proof before decisions or actions are taken based on the provided information. Remember that it is a very rare case that a decision can’t wait for a few hours or days while adequate proof is gathered to confirm the underlying premise upon which the decision is to be made.

Final Thought…

Some politicians will use terms like think, believe, and feel when attempting to establish plausible deniability for their statements. Such terms are weak and should be avoided as they retain ownership of the position with the politician rather than transferring it to an unnamed, unknown third party.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember plans=”62737, 25542, 25653″]

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