People of the Lie
    Category: Column By : Andrew Tani Read : 844 Date : Sunday, April 10, 2016 - 07:01:36

    What should you do in the face of negative people who have a destructive streak when relating with others? In his book, “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil,” Dr. Scott Peck, concludes that evil people attack others rather than face their own failures. Peck characterizes evil as a malignant type of self-righteousness, with an active refusal to tolerate imperfection (sin) and its consequent guilt.

    This syndrome projects evil onto innocent victims (often children). He argues that these people are the most difficult of all to deal with, and hard to identify. According to Peck, an evil person is self-deceiving, to avoid guilt and maintain a perfect self-image. Evil persons deceive others as well. They project their sins onto specific targets (scapegoats) while acting “normal” with others. Under the pretense of love, these individuals exude hate, deceiving others and themselves. They abuse political (emotional) power and impose their will upon others by coercion.

    Evil persons are consistent in their destructiveness. Lacking empathy, they cannot see their victim’s viewpoint. They are intolerant to criticism. Thus, they deny their evil by assuming moral superiority and focusing their evil onto others. Evil is an extreme form of what Peck calls a character and personality disorder.

    Are there people of the lie in your company? In my experience, well-managed companies constantly explore ways and means of protecting themselves from getting infiltrated by people of the lie. They know how the negative energy of these people drain positive energy and no amount of soft skills training will yield positive results with them. But sometimes people of the lie find their way around the best defenses and end up working in your company anyway.

    Principles of effective management and inspirational leadership don’t work with people of the lie. Blinded by their grandiose view, people of the lie crave admiration and hate feedback—the opposite of true manager-leaders. Whereas manager-leaders see humility as a sign of a strong character, people of the lie see humility as a weakness.

    So what should you do when you find people of the lie at work? Put your company’s exit system to work. Unfortunately you have to identify them first, and evil is an extreme form of personality disorder that is not easy to detect. Unless a crime is committed, many borderline people of the lie will continue to keep their jobs. They are often tolerated, because we tend to justify their negative behaviors by the results that they deliver.

    Differentiate yourself with the ability to regularly take time to withdraw, reflect and introspect. Also add a balancing dose of humility for the sake of harmony, even by sincerely asking for an apology when needed. Use the “am I right?” attitude when dealing with others. It does not mean that you lack confidence. It only means that you are willing to listen and respect the views of other people. More importantly, seize opportunities to uplift others. Develop those four qualities of a LifeToucher and you will bless the people that you work with.

    Whatever may happen in your encounters with borderline people of the lie, do not abandon the way of the manager-leader. Learn to ignore their verbal retorts, and their ways of sowing fear—even terror. If you have to work with them, tolerance is your best strategy.