I was doing some research recently - for my forthcoming ebook, 'How To Turn A Bad Relationship Good and Make A Good One Better' - and started thinking about the connection between dishonesty and reputation.
We've all read or heard about situations where there's been a clear cut case of someone lying through their teeth and getting found out. I can immediately conjure up more than a dozen politicians, business leaders, celebrities and public officials in this category.
But instances where someone has committed a truly outrageous crime and tried to cover it up before being publicly exposed and held up to hatred, ridicule or contempt, are thankfully rare.
An educated guess suggests that the vast majority of people (dare I say 'everybody'), tells lies - from white lies and half-truths, all the way to total distortions of reality. These departures from the truth - especially when they can be challenged externally - could ultimately undermine a person's (or organisation's) credibility and contribute to negative perceptions about their reputation.
I came across the video (below), voiced by Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist and bestselling author of 'The Upside of Irrationality' and 'Predictably Irrational'.
It's definitely worth a watch.
By the way, Dan Ariely has written a book which explores the subject in greater depth.
You can read an excerpt here.
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.