What should I do if my immediate supervisor asked me to do a white lie in a meeting. Should I take my stand and refuse? Or there is a better to handle such request when in a corporate environment.
putting myself in your shoes, I would try to avoid saying the white lie by discussing the supervisor a better way of positioning the information such that it is still truthful (but maybe not the full truth). Reason I will use to the supervisor is to say that such lies could come back to haunt the team so it is always preferable to present facts that are defensible.
If the above is not possible, I would look at the intention behind the lie (hopefully there is some good intent) and try to present it with as much good motivation as I can. Then go and do repenting later .
I admit it is pretty hard to avoid the 十不善业. We will need to acquire much wisdom to apply 善巧方便 .
Your question seems to be frequently asked in some other forums. I had fun reading some of the responses:
Depends on what is intention behind the white lie? Is it out of habit, an easier way out, to save myself face etc? And also to think of what would be the consequences be if the lie gets exposed. I believe even with the best intention, there will be negative karma to any lies, just the degree of karma. However, with the lack of true wisdom, I’m not confident that what is think is the best intention would be the correct intention. Perhaps better to not start with a white lie in the first place as another lie is usually needed to cover the one before?
A convenient false speach is not an offence.
- for example; get sentient being out of fear.
- to control unwholesome situation.
- benefits them rather than hurting them .
I think we should be comforted and encouraged that we are discussing about the implications of making a white lie.
I would have not have given it much thought before learning Lamrim.
Given your situation, I would probably try to convince my boss, how to present the truth in a very diplomatic way.
And also take this opportunity to share the “good karma of the Right Speech” (in a secular way) and how your boss will be seen as someone trustworthy and a man with intregrity.
And find all the negative impact about telling the white lie & how a simple lie can potentially manifest into a serious issue later on etc.
I am sure there are skills to do that, just like how buddha has aquired the wisdom to only speak the truth under all circumstances. That’s the reason we do not doubt buddha’s teachings.
Though we are not at that level yet, we must aspire to be like buddha.
I must say, it’s impossible to avoid such situations but perhaps every situation is a chance for us to put what we have learnt into practice?
We may not perfect it at once, but hopefully we get better each time in dealing with such challenges @ work or in life.