My clients, and my kids, have been told that there are four ways that they can be perceived as lying:
- Dishonesty by commission — literally saying black is white.
- Dishonesty by omission — leaving important information out of your communications.
- Dishonesty by understatement for the purpose of obfuscating the truth.
- Dishonesty by overstatement for the purpose of obfuscating the truth.
We have all been witnessing — first in the Church’s initial communication and handling of sexual abuses by priests in the United States, now by the Church’s bungling of what seems to be an even worse situation in Europe — dishonesty in all four categories.
There was a time when, to the vast majority of Christians, not just to Catholics, the word of the Vatican equated to the word of God, and even non-Christians had great respect for most statements coming out of the Vactican. But in the 21st Century, “consumers” are too savvy to believe that God directed his representatives on Earth to lie. The Vatican must put down the proverbial shovel before it digs its way to a place much less inviting than Heaven.
For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management