This blog goes out for the clients/customers, as well as all “internal” clients in the enterprise- CEOs, COOs, CTOs, CMOs, line managers, team leaders, P&L heads etc.
BS is seen in many forms within many verticals, in different functions in a matrix enterprise. Those in sales are often seen as masters of BS; this is accepted as an integral part of their “arsenal” and skill sets.
I beg to differ here.
BS is at best a short cut to some success you may score in the short term and a profound weakness in the long term. As a sales rep, once you have tasted success as a BS practitioner, you will erroneously start to believe in the “power” of the BS speak. This goes for those who practice this in other functions within the organization as well.
Therefore, according to me, the most unheralded success skill as a manager and as a client is knowing when someone is full of it, full of themselves, trying to pull the wool over your eyes, or maybe even trying to fool themselves.
In any case, knowing when someone is BSing is absolutely a key to success in business.
Why is that?
Well, your work life presents thousands of options, opportunities, paths to go down, people to hire, people to work for, people to align yourself with.
But you only have one work life. You have to learn methods to narrow the field. Knowing whether people are being genuine or not is key to narrowing the choices, and narrowing the choices is key to picking the right ones.
- The story changes. You can ask them the same thing three times and get three different answers.
- They act dumb but they’re not. It’s disingenuous, not a good sign.
- They act smart but they’re not. Not necessarily disingenuous, but also not a good sign.
- They try too hard. That’s got to give you pause.
- They appear nervous when they shouldn’t be.
- They look scared when they shouldn’t be.
- They repeat the question. It buys them time to think of an answer.
- There’s something in it for them. Anytime somebody’s trying to sell you something, there’s a good chance you’re being BSed.
- They’re fanatical. Fanaticism, fundamentalism, call it whatever you want, it’s a one-sided view of an issue that cuts off debate. Not good.
- They only present one side. Same thing.