In Samuel Culbert’s new book Beyond Bullsh*t: Straight-Talk at Work, Culbert defines bullsh*t as:
Words spoken or actions taken with the goal of getting people to go along with an agenda without the communicator giving serious consideration to the veracity of the communication. Bullsh*t is usually dispensed without serious consideration for its impact on the agendas of the targeted recipients. Usually there’s no malice of forethought and no intent to deceive. The communicator is merely following standard corporate practices. Nevertheless, recipients commonly end up feeling deceived. (p.31).
Yesterday I featured a guest post from a friend that was fired last week. I withheld my comments on her description of what happened to her, but several of you provided some excellent commentary. Now I will give you my opinion of her firing:
My friend’s termination was clearly dispensed without serious consideration for how it would impact her, and the way she was fired and how it was communicated to others was very deceitful. It’s possible that the executive that personally fired her had no malice of forethought and no intent to deceive, but I find that hard to believe.
And although the firing was a complete surprise, I seriously doubt this was the first time the organization and its leadership had engaged in bullsh*t. I think we would all do well to remember that behavior follows patterns, and sometimes we can deceive ourselves into thinking that that patterns really aren’t what they might appear to be or don’t really pose a serious threat.
Could something similar to what happened to my friend happen to you? Don’t bullsh*t yourself.