De­cep­tion or Du­plic­ity

Enterprise - - Opinion -

Hu­man be­hav­iour is at the cen­tre of re­search across var­i­ous dis­ci­plines of study. It is both con­sis­tent and in­con­sis­tent, de­pend­ing upon a given sit­u­a­tion. Men act. Men re­act. Many spurs cre­ate an ac­tion or re­ac­tion. For ex­am­ple, ‘fear’ evokes ei­ther of these two con­di­tions; ac­tion is largely pre-emp­tive, while re­ac­tion can be vis­i­ble or these could be covert. A non-vis­i­ble ac­tion can be the re­sult of ei­ther de­cep­tion or du­plic­ity.

De­cep­tion is de­ceit, fraud, fraud­u­lence, trick­ery, dou­ble-deal­ing or even treach­ery. How­ever, du­plic­ity is achieved through avoid­ance of be­ing straight­for­ward. There­fore, de­cep­tion is more vis­i­ble, while du­plic­ity is usu­ally masked.

The work­place is a live lab­o­ra­tory where one can test var­i­ous facets of hu­man be­hav­iour. Since it is an assem­bly of men and women of all hues and shades; of dif­fer­ent back­grounds; dif­fer­ent ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards and dif­fer­ent so­cial sta­tus we wit­ness the most noble and the most de­spi­ca­ble be­hav­iour of peo­ple. The most chal­leng­ing task for man­age­ment is to recog­nise and deal with those who lie be­tween the poles and hence act sur­rep­ti­tiously and usu­ally with gloves on hands.

If there are ‘prob­lem bosses,’ there are ‘prob­lem sub­or­di­nates’ too. Prob­lem bosses in­dulge in con­tin­u­ously chang­ing the goal posts and this is done to en­sure that there is never a feel­ing of ‘Eureka’ in any mem­ber of the team. Such man­agers are never sat­is­fied with ei­ther their di­rect re­port or the qual­ity of his/her work. They nit­pick ev­ery­thing to the ex­tent of hair split­ting de­tails.

In cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ments, we come across a bunch of de­cep­tive sub­or­di­nate hav­ing sev­eral marks of iden­tity. I have come across many em­ploy­ees who are ex­tremely gen­tle and po­lite with their boss, but the they can be found us­ing the choic­est ex­ple­tives when deal­ing with their sub­or­di­nates.

There are man­agers who are es­sen­tially cow­ards, they have no guts and courage and al­ways in­dulge in dou­ble­s­peak. At the work­sta­tion, they demonstrate a sense of strong likes and dis­likes. They bla­tantly rec­om­mend re­wards and bonuses for those who curry favour with them and are never shy to rec­om­mend de­cep­tively through rep­ri­mands and pun­ish­ments for those who are seen as a chal­lenge of re­place­ment to their au­thor­ity and po­si­tion. Trained for be­ing small minded, these man­agers op­er­ate by the prin­ci­ple that what is good for goose is never good for the gan­der. The lat­ter rep­re­sents po­ten­tial threat and the for­mer be­comes the blue eyed for the wrong rea­sons. The weak in courage is strong in cun­ning. (Wil­liam Blake).

A men­tion must also be made and recog­nised of those man­agers who se­lec­tively can be both de­cep­tive and cun­ningly. Worst of de­cep­tion is self­de­cep­tion (Plato). Dou­ble speak or du­plic­ity is a base trait. Both should be recog­nised as in­trin­sic temp­ta­tions of hu­man be­hav­iour and con­se­quently must be har­nessed and man­aged. The eas­i­est per­son to de­ceive is ‘your­self.’ A mere recog­ni­tion of this weak­ness will yield pos­i­tive thought and ac­tion. Let earnest­ness to be never dwarfed by the threat of con­se­quences. Henry Al­ford states, ‘El­e­gance of lan­guage may not be in the power of all of us; but with sim­plic­ity and straight for­ward­ness are. Write as much as you speak; speak as you think. If with your in­fe­rior, speak no coarser than usual; if with your su­pe­rior, no firmer. Be what you say; and within the rules of pru­dence, say what you are.’

Du­plic­ity and de­cep­tion must be ex­punged from man­age­rial be­hav­iour. In­stead, adopt qual­i­ties and traits where your team mem­bers would be mo­ti­vated and en­cour­aged to em­u­late, du­pli­cate and repli­cate. Stand on feet. Stand tall. Come straight. Come clean. Demonstrate pos­ses­sion of spine and not be­ing the bone­less crea­ture to be show­cased in the cor­po­rate mu­seum.

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