Are you a L.I.A.R.?

Are you a L.I.A.R.?

Are you a L.I.A.R.?

Brainstorming in a breakout brought forth the brash but brilliant acronym L.I.A.R.  Truth be told, it was some of my workshop participants who came up with it.  With their permission I share this newfound abbreviation, and have embellished it with some of my own examples.  Read on and see if you are a “L.I.A.R”….at least as it relates to leadership.


“Speak in such a way that others love listening to you…AND listen in such a way that others love speaking to you.”

In other words:  Are you able to dish it out and take it too?  Are you able to receive criticism gracefully without getting defensive? It’s helpful to “ask for more” to get clarification when you hear something you don’t like:

  • “Can you give me an example?”
  • “How do you mean?”
  • “Can you elaborate?”

On another listening note, do you give your colleagues or employees your full attention?  Or do you attempt to multi-task by texting or checking email while they’re talking?


When you find out about a negative situation are you able to investigate objectively without making assumptions and jumping to conclusions?  Here are a few of my favorite phrases for seeking input:

  • “Help me understand…”  (Ex – “Help me understand what caused the deadline to be missed.”)
  • “I noticed…and I’m wondering” (Ex – “I noticed that the project wasn’t done by deadline and I’m wondering what happened.”)

See 50 Phrases for All Occasions in website resource section. My book If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say? has 105 Phrases for All Occasions in the Appendix.


“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” That John Maxwell quote sums it up.   We seem to make time when we need to tell an employee what’s wrong.  We may need to make a conscious effort to pass along praise as well.  The more specific we can be, the better!

“Great job!” is good. “Great job handling that conflict situation” is better!

“You rock!” is good. “You rock! Very thorough presentation this morning” is better!



In the words of Aretha Franklin:  R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

In the words of
“a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc. and should be treated in an appropriate way.”

In some companies it appears that the less-than-respectful point of view is “if we’d wanted you to have an opinion, we would have given you one”!??

Are you treating your employees and co-workers  like they are important?  Do you value their opinion and contribution?