Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What if someone in your workplace is BSing ?

For most of us, the fact that a statement is false might constitutes in itself a reason, however weak and easily overridden, not to make the statement. ... people are guided by their beliefs concerning the way things are when either in lying or telling the truth. It guide them as they have tendency to describe to the society correctly or to describe it untruly or half-truth. For such case, making out half-truths might not tend to unfit an individual for telling the truth in the same way that bullshitting tends to. Through extensive indulgence in the latter activity, which involves making assertions without paying attention to anything except what it suits one to say, a person's normal habit of attending to things may become attenuated or lost. Someone who give half-truths and someone who tells the full truth are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game. Each responds to the facts as he understands them, although the response of the one is guided by the authority of the truth, while the response of the other defies that authority and refuses to meet its demands. The bullshitter ignores these demands altogether. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies or half-truth are.

  • Determine what serves the presenter’s self-interest. Whenever someone is presenting a point of view, you owe it to yourself to consider how their opinion might correlate to their own self-interest. After all, there must be some reason they have to make the argument to you in the first place. And that reason more likely correlates with their own self-interest than with yours.
  • Question the info or data. We live in a world of pseudo science, skewed sample sets and anonymous experts. Don’t accept anything as an important truth without first examining the source.
  • Look out for truth qualifying statements. “To tell you the truth” or “Let’s be frank” or “I have to be honest…” are all statements that beg the question – “Are we starting to be honest just now?”
  • Hear for name dropping. Credibility should always be derived from the strength of the argument, known facts and/or the reputation of the person present. If absent prominent people are the backbone of an argument, you should be suspect.
  • Identify confusion in response to logical counterpoints. This type of response is meant to undermine your confidence in the soundness of your counter argument without seeking to specifically or factually oppose the point itself. Watch out for confusion when there should be none.
  • Be careful of the obvious. If a conversation provides you with one obvious thought after another, wait for the end of the train of thoughts as it is typically an illogical conclusion. After getting into a “yes…yes… yes…” rhythm, you may easily accept a well placed random conclusion or mistruth.

When staff in organization started to show signs of not being truthful and behaving in the opposite, it will end up costing the company due to some of the related impact due to personnel being not giving the correct reporting and trying to cover up in fear of being reprimand should their mistake is uncovered, some of the greater impact could lead to following broader senses :-

- Persistent and disruptive strategy changes without correct stakeholders information.
- Constant debate over issues with no real feedback lacking action plan.
- Plans are agreed but some groups follow them while others hide away due to cover ups.
- Product shortfalls due to inaccurate and unreliable reporting.
- Miscommunication between management levels, i.e. middle managers are constantly "BS" by incorrect information, plans, datas.
- Consistent budget misses in either direction due to inconsistent reporting
- Support organizations like planning or production cannot cope with changing demands from technical.

Ways to Know When Someone’s BSing You
  1. Story or context changes. You can ask them the same thing two or three times and get different answers or replies.
  2. They look or pretend dumb but they’re not. It’s disingenuous, not a good sign.
  3. They put up a smart look but they’re not. Not necessarily disingenuous, but also not a good sign.
  4. They try overly hard. That’s got to give you pause.
  5. They look nervous when they shouldn’t be.
  6. They look scared when they shouldn’t be.
  7. They ask the question repeatedly. Give them time to think of an appropriate answer.
  8. There’s something in it for them. Anytime somebody’s trying to sell you something, there’s a good chance you’re being BS.
  9. They’re fanatical. Fanaticism, fundamentalism, call it whatever you want, it’s a one-sided view of an issue that cuts off debate. 
It is seen to be quite obvious - pundits, politicians, senior/junior executives, engineers, technicians, labourers, and even journalists - have sunk into habits of "BSing" from which many of them could be rescued. Many who claim to speak from faith have so cherrypicked their scripture sources that their announcements are nothing but bullshit. I do believe that most people whose characters haven't been metastasized by the greed of fame and publicity hold firmly to the conviction that "bsing" is no better than lying. What they are going to have to learn, if the society or organization is to be saved is that hearing what you want to hear and filtering out the rest which may be part of the BS.

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