“Post-truths” at work and management messaging

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Alison Flood reports for The Guardian newspaper that “Oxford Dictionaries has declared ‘post-truth’ to be its international word of the year.” She continues:

Defined by the dictionary as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”, editors said that use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000% in 2016 compared to last year. The spike in usage, it said, is “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States”.

I couldn’t help but think of popular “post-truths” circulated by some employers to their rank-and-file workers:

  • “We’re all in this together.”
  • “Each and every employee matters to us.”
  • “We’d hate for a union to come in and interfere with the direct communications we enjoy with our valued employees.”
  • “We’re absolutely committed to equal opportunity.”
  • “Don’t worry, you can trust the HR office with all of your concerns.”
  • “Think of us as one big family here.”

I’m sure that readers can add their own post-truths to this list.

Of course, at some workplaces, many of these statements actually apply. But in too many places of employment, the more you hear them, the less truth they happen to carry. 

5 responses

  1. Brilliant, David and thanks for making me smile in the aftermath!

    Makes me wonder how we humans get to this place where we believe what we want or maybe need to believe regardless of truth. Some is ignorance or lack of education, some is that the truth is so complicated that understanding it is a full time job and we don’t have the time it would take to really understand, some is indifference….

    Also…makes me think of trust and broken trust and it’s role in oppression….

    Thanks for getting me thinking….glad you are out there.
    Beth

  2. “Everybody’s opinion matters.”
    “Our differences make us stronger.”
    “Your input is important.”
    “We couldn’t do it without you.”
    “We have to take care of each other.”

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