“What if someone you are dealing with doesn’t operate with intellectual honesty? Say—a client, a boss, or someone else you can’t choose not to work with?”


Reality is, you have three options in this kind of scenario:

  1. Tolerate the intellectual dishonesty.

    • You can always decide it’s not worth the trouble to change things, and accept the results.

    • You must remember that this is your choice, and take responsibility for the consequences that follow once you have made this choice.

  2. Train the person to operate with intellectual honesty.

    • You can set up your interactions so they maximize your potential for encouraging good behavior from the person in question, and you can spot and call out the bad behavior (see Lessons 2.6 through 2.12)

    • And you can confront the person about their behavior using the Clearing The Air frameworks we learned about.

    • If you are not in a position of power, these may be difficult to do.

  3. Terminate the relationship.

    • It is always okay to walk away from something toxic.

    • Cutting out dishonest people is a victory, not quitting.

    • As we discussed about “smart jerks,” you can transition a member of your permanent team into simply an “input,” getting their points of view without giving them power to influence you and your team.