005 Truth, Lies, and Deception in the Workplace – Elly Johnson

Written by on March 26, 2018

This week’s show is all about Truth, Lies, and Deception in the Workplace. Sounds dramatic, I know. But when we stop to think about it, every career decision we make is based on what we believe to be true about our company, our career path, our skill set, our growth potential, our compensation, our boss… the list goes on.

When all of the critical decisions we make in our jobs are based on our perception, what happens when people start telling lies? White lies, half truths, blatant misrepresentations… they all have the power to fundamentally change our reality and thus alter our decisions, and potentially our careers themselves.

Elly Johnson is an expert in truth dilemmas and the Founder and Managing Director of TruthAbility. Elly began her fascination with eliciting the truth as a rookie police officer at the age of 22. Her professional and personal experiences highlighted the gap in awareness for knowing how to encourage more truth from others, accurately read behavior and spot signs of deception early on.

In our conversation, we dive deep into how not being truthful can really get in our way at work and in our lives. We tackle how to answer that big question, “Why’d you leave your last job?” when it may not have been under the best of circumstances. Finally, we talk about how to handle gaps in employment, and Elly points out the behavior to look for to know when you’re being BS’d by your boss, a client, a sales rep, or in a job interview.


(0:55) – Nick introduces The Daily Dose, an email newsletter that offers career hints and pointers every day.

(2:25) – Elly describes how she made the jump from being a police officer to becoming the head of TruthAbility

(3:30) – Elly defines “Truth Dilemma” and how it applies to our lives at work.

(4:45) – How to tackle the delicate interview topic of “Why did you leave your last job?” and how to overcome your fear of telling the truth.

(10:15) – The best way to address a gap in employment on your resume and during the interview.

(14:45) – Questions you can ask in an interview to pull yourself out of a tailspin.

(18:10) – Elly shares her story about a friend who tried faking a qualification

(20:50) – How we can tell when a boss or client isn’t being honest with you.

(24:30) – Tactics you can use to encourage a manager or colleague to be more truthful.


“People have so much of a challenge with the truth, but everybody wants it, everybody gets upset if they don’t get the truth.”

“The more you lie in those sorts of situations, the more you can get yourself in a tangleóand you can come unstuck very quickly!”

“Being authentic and being transparent and being honest and being truthful can be really refreshing for the person on the receiving end.”

“You might never get caught… but you still have to carry the knowledge that you got that job on false pretenses.”

“Stop procrastinating and get the hard stuff done first.”

“We demand more truth, but do we give truth? And what do we need to do to increase that in our world?”



Guest Links:

Elly Johnson Website – https://www.ellyjohnson.com

TruthAbililty Website – https://www.truthability.com

Elly’s Free Gift for Listeners – https://www.thejoblab.com/e5download

Elly on LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/elly-johnson-256b491

Sponsor’s Link:

Mid-America Careers – https://www.midamericacareers.com

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