I can tolerate just about any communication mistake except lying. For me, that is the ultimate relationship breaker.
Last year, I switched from Verizon to Cox for phone and internet because, in part, of the promise of one bill and a $100 rebate. Well, two years later, I still get seperate phone and internet bills, have higher bills than the sales person outlined when I made the switch, and I never have seen a rebate. Every time I see the Cox “Bundle of Joy” commercial it just gets me ticked all over again.
Unlike my neighbors, I cheered when Verizon recently dug up my neighborhood to install FIOS. I have no idea what level of service they will offer or at what cost, but I can’t wait to get away from Cox.
I was recently involved with a donation to a nonprofit group. When the donor found out that a volunteer was not completely truthful, he asked for the donation back. This impacted the group in the immediate sense with the loss of a donation, and in the long term as this donor certainly won’t be speaking highly of the organization.
While I may be less forgiving than some, I do think that playing fast and loose with the truth is one of the biggest mistakes we can make as comminicators. Fess up with the bad news, tell someone something he or she doesn’t want to hear, explain something unpleasant — it is all better in the end than trying to paint a better picture with a lie.
Ok, stepping down from my soapbox now…