Workplace Tales The Art of Spotting a Faker

Workplace Tales: The Art of Spotting a Faker

May 25, 2023, 6:58 AM
Rochelle Pinili

Rochelle Pinili


Alright, let's chat. You and I know the world of work is full of different personalities, right? We've got the go-getters, the perfectionists, the leaders, and so on. But every now and then, we come across a unique character - the coworker who seems to be, for lack of a better term, faking it.

Ever heard the phrase "fake it 'til you make it"? In some cases, it might be seen as a positive push towards learning new skills and overcoming challenges. However, when this mantra is used as a permanent tactic to cover up shortcomings or deceive others, it becomes a problem.

You know the type. They're all swagger and no substance. They're always busy but never actually producing results. They're quick to claim credit but even quicker to dodge responsibility.

So, how do we spot these pretenders among us? Well, researchers at Cornell University have found a few tell-tale signs of deception in the workplace1. Fakers often use excessive flattery, make grand promises they never keep, and seem overly confident without any concrete reasons.

Here's the kicker: They often talk a lot without really saying anything, hiding behind jargon and buzzwords.

But why does this matter? Well, fakers in the workplace can cause real problems. They undermine trust, hamper productivity, and bring down team morale. A study by the University of British Columbia found that dishonest behavior in the workplace could even lead to employee burnout2.

So, what do we do when we spot a faker in the wild? Well, for starters, don’t get pulled into their game. Maintain your integrity and continue to do your best work. If their actions are affecting your job, it might be time to have a candid discussion with your supervisor.

Let's be honest, we've all felt the need to put on a brave face or exaggerate a bit at work sometimes. But there's a big difference between trying to make a good impression and downright deception. As we navigate the workplace, it's important that we strive for authenticity, not just for our own sake, but for the health and success of our entire team.

So, remember: Stay real. Stay honest. And don't let the fakers bring you down.

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