Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 Stop The Lies 1

This is a tough one: Do you lie while you're at work at your dental practice?

Sept. 21, 2016
Sometimes it's hard to face a tough question and admit the truth. A case of this is lying while at work. Lisa Newburger challenges those in the dental profession to look at themselves closely, and admit if they do any of these things.

Sometimes it's hard to face a tough question and admit the truth. A case of this is lying while at work. Lisa Newburger challenges those in the dental profession to look at themselves closely, and admit if they do any of these things.

As you read the question in the headline, I'm sure most of you are saying, "No! Never! How could you even ask me that question?" But seriously. Have you ever told a lie at work? I know that some of you don’t want to examine your own behavior, but it really is something to think about.

See if you have done any of the following, and then decide for yourself whether or not you should change your ways.

1.Have you ever lied on your resume? Perhaps you've stretched the truth a bit in order to demonstrate you have the kind of experience an office is looking for? Perhaps to say you have skills that you actually need to run out and learn quite quickly before your first day of workon the job? This happens more often than we’d like to admit.

2.Have you ever “fudged” your time card? This one might really get under your skin. Have you been late and minimized the damage so that you wouldn’t have to face any consequences? Come on. Who hasn’t? It's like saying, “I never break the law.” Really? My answer to that is, ”Have you ever gone over the speed limit?” Show me one person who hasn’t driven too fast, and let me clarify that the little old lady down the street doesn’t count here.

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3.Have you ever lied instead of taking responsibility for something you should or should not have done? This question will probably separate the women from the girls. When you screw up, how often do you take responsibility? Have you blamed it on someone else or just played dumb? I can’t tell you how many times I've seen this happen. Some of you have emailed me saying that you think I'm always “very negative.” But what I'm doing is trying to be your observing ego. Most of us don’t always tell the truth, regardless of how we justify it. I'm trying to be aware of my shortcomings. Shouldn’t you?

4.Have you ever gossiped and then lied about it? Perhaps your colleague asked you to keep something between the two of you. But, gosh darn it, it was just too juicy. Did you go home and tell your significant other or your mom? Telling them shouldn’t count, right? Anyone who tells me a "secret" should know that telling me means telling my husband. I mean, everyone knows that, right?

5.Have you ever used the printer for personal use? Perhaps you've used the office copier to copy a personal letter or bill. This isn’t quite lying as much as it is technically stealing. Many practices state in their employee handbook that you can’t use the equipment for personal use. This includes going on Facebook or sending your resume to another practice while employed at your current one.

True story: A receptionist was told that she was going to be laid off. The office gave her four weeks to work until her last day. Her understanding was that she could look for a job during her breaks. The office manager in the office started monitoring the receptionist's emails. One of the cover letters she sent got her into trouble. The office manager confronted her about the fact that they had established her last day at the current practice, but her cover letter said she was available sooner. Here's a lesson to the wise. Do not, I repeat, do not look for a job while at work. In this person’s case, it led to her dismissal sooner than she'd planned.

I realize that this is really an uncomfortable topic, but we all have to face it. We aren’t as honest as we would like to think we are. We often try to justify our behavior, but then we're pretty darn judgmental when it comes to our colleagues.

My call to action is this—take a look at yourself. Look hard, look deep. And, be honest with yourself. Do you do any of the things I mentioned in this article? Yep, I thought so! Now, try to make changes for the better. Just because "everyone else is doing it" does not mean you should, too. Don't be a liar!

If you want to continue this conversation, email me at [email protected].

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Lisa Newburger, LISW-S, aka Diana Directive, is not afraid to tackle difficult topics for dental professionals with humor and aplomb. Her entertaining workshops are available for conferences and association meetings. Writing for DIQ since 2010, her “in-your-face” style of presentation and writing will make you smile, or perhaps shock you into taking action. Check out her website at