The Essential Cure for Exaggeration

First, I love Brian Williams.  I believe in him.  I watch his newscast whenever possible.

And I hurt for him in these difficult days.

He exaggerated in his narrative and he has been found out.

Has it happened to you?

  • When asked about an extracurricular activity in school, have you enhanced your role?
  • Have you stretched your importance on a work team?
  • Have you minimized your role in an losing campaign?

I think there are two steps you can take while seeking redemption:  you can take on a large dose of humility and you can correct the mistake immediately.  If you are job-hunting, stop right now.  Get out that resume and read it again.  Check it for total truth.  You might feel better and more confident that you don’t have to conceal a truth any longer.

It’s also a potentially great interview question. Have you ever stretched the truth about your performance on a job?  

I think the answer might be – Yes!  I was advised to stretch my role in a reorganization in order to keep my job.  I was so uncomfortable with that process that I vowed never to do it again.  And I haven’t.

Would anyone asking that question believe a no?  I don’t think so.  There’s something appealing and refreshing about a candidate who tells the truth about him/herself while showing emotional growth.

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4 Responses to “The Essential Cure for Exaggeration”

  1. Paul Roberts Abernathy Says:

    Yes, Anne, back in the proverbial day, I, on occasion, when I thought it to my advantage (to have me appear more competent in skill or better as a person) surely stretched (and minimized) the facts of my participation in a given activity. As you found for yourself, so I, too, at some point, I stopped (no doubt, when I began to arrive at that blessed internal place of greater, hopeful self-acceptance). Thank you for your encouragement to all of us about speaking our own truth to ourselves (and with others about our ourselves). This, as well as speaking truth to others about themselves, is an act of love.

    • anneheadley Says:

      Paul, thanks for pointing out that it does get easier with time and confidence. As a career counselor, it was often very hard for me to get a job seeker to acknowledge a weakness. In mock interviews, we would work to become okay with saying “that’s not my strongpoint” or “I look forward to gaining more experience in …”.

  2. singlecatlady Says:

    guilty as well. I believe it was when I was applying for a job at an upscale department store. ..nameless please. I had to take this bizarre values test. Friends I had at the store had given me a heads up about how extreme it was. .I thought I was ready. But when I came to “you find change in the soda machine. What do you do?” The only real 2 choices are take it or leave it.
    I was torn..did I want to look like a thief or the world’s only annoyingly honest to the nth degree person? Hey it’s a job interview! Gotta be honest . But now, honestly, of course I’d take the money. I am confident the person who left $ would take my $ too. Have at it.

    • anneheadley Says:

      Whichever answer you chose, you now have a great interview story. And I remember your son at age five or so, discovering the astonishing richness of the expanse of pay phones at the National Gallery of Art, a seeming majority of which had coins sitting in them. He was wild with joy, running around collecting coins. His last remark as I dragged him away was “you could become a millionaire this way!”.

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