Last week, Brazil’s top election court took swift action when it barred former President Jair Bolsonaro from running for office for 8 years. Why? Because he was found guilty of making false statements to ambassadors and diplomats, claiming he lost this past presidential election as a result of defects in the electronic ballots he knew did not exist.
This headline reminds me how humans have consistently found ways to bend, stretch and twist the truth. Oh, how I long for the truth to be discovered – whether with an elected official, someone in leadership, even a friend or family member. However, in my experience, that justice is rarely quick or visible. In this edition of the Coach’s Corner Newsletter, I have an amazing insight to share from a client who found a way to keep doing what she does best at work, after bringing attention to issues that were being brushed aside far too frequently. And your tool this week to prevent you from fixating on someone else’s lie(s)? Focus on what you do by using Byron Katie’s “Whose business are you in?”
The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #5
Every now and then there are consequences for lying
The story of Jair Bolsonaro, may sound a bit too familiar. In the run-up to last year’s election, Bolsonaro disputed Brazil’s electronic voting machines, saying he might reject the result if he deemed the vote unfair.
As it turned out his rival, Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, did win the election. On January 8th, a week after his inauguration in January, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed Brazil’s Congress, presidential palace and supreme court in hopes of overturning the election. Bolsonaro, who never acknowledged his defeat, was in Florida.
In the 5-2 ruling by the court, reported by the Guardian,
Judge Benedito Goncalves slammed the ex-president’s “deceitful monologue” and “appalling lies,” arguing they had been designed to “arouse a state of collective paranoia among voters.”
Read Tom Phillips full report in the Guardian.
Bolsonaro claims this has been a witch-hunt, and calls the decision a stab in the back. He says he’ll continue working to further right-wing politics in Brazil.
Observe, notify and keep showing up
‘Monica’ pays attention to detail as sales manager for an international organization. She has to work with a variety of teams to hit targets every quarter. ‘Monica’ had noticed that one group was consistently missing their numbers and deadlines, and this inaction was causing her undue stress and long hours to correct ‘their’ issue. She discovered that this group was stretching the truth by offering results that didn’t add up – OR they would simply ‘forget’ to submit by the agreed-upon deadline.
Her insight arrived when she acknowledged her role. Monica kept showing up and doing her work, calling out the necessary steps and deadlines, then left it up to the group to reveal their actual numbers.
Once she notified this group with clear instructions of what was missing and needed to be submitted, she decided to stop hounding them. As per their style, this group failed to share the data necessary in a timely manner – and what they did offer turned out to be inaccurate. Because Monica didn’t intervene, leadership discovered what was happening and took action. She told me this was the first time in months that her stress and frustration began to subside, now that she was no longer covering for them.
When you’re frustrated with being lied to, again, see what happens when you unpack this tool from Byron Katie, an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as “The Work“.
Whose business are you in? is best in Katie’s own words.
Notice when you hurt that you are mentally out of your business.
If you’re not sure, stop and ask, “Mentally, whose business am I in?”
There are only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s.
Whose business is it if an earthquake happens? God’s business.
Whose business is it if your neighbor down the street has an ugly lawn? Your neighbor’s business.
Whose business is it if you are angry at your neighbor down the street because he has an ugly lawn? Your business.
Life is simple—it is internal.
Count, in five minute intervals, how many times you are in someone else’s business mentally. Notice when you give uninvited advice or offer your opinion about something (aloud or silently).
Ask yourself: “Am I in their business? Did they ask me for my advice?” And more importantly, “Can I take the advice I am offering and apply it to my life?”
Every day you probably face lying in one form or another. Whether you lie to yourself, are lied to by a loved one or friend, know that you’re being lied to by leadership in your org or are aware that your elected officials are lying to you.
If I truly choose to stay in my business as Byron Katie suggests, I can remind myself to release trying to control whatever you are doing or whatever God is doing. Losing my temper or accusing someone of lying doesn’t give me the desired outcome.
Rarely is the lie about you.
Is there a time to speak up? Yes, especially when someone is being hurt.
Every now and then, there are real consequences for the person who lies. Every now and then. In the meantime, there’s plenty of life to live and work to do as you stay in your business.
Please use the comment section to let me know your thoughts on how you handle it when you are faced with someone stretching the truth.
I’ll be back on my regular schedule on Tuesday! Hope your July 4th week is going well.
Thank you for reading!