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What Percentage of People Do You Think Have Taken $10 of Stuff from Their Employer? Why? (VIDEO)

This is a fabulous and revealing question that hangs many people. What percentage would you think?


Great question I heard last night and I thought I would use it is my subject for today. The question is, "What percentage of people do you think had stolen $10 worth of stuff from their employer? Why?"

I want to understand the logic of the question. The logic is to admit that you really have no idea. So, what you're doing is projecting something on to the population that reflects you. In other words, if you say 70% or 80%, what are you saying about yourself and the likelihood of you taking something from your employer (and I'm talking about something more than just "the pens.").

Understand that the idea behind this question is to reveal something of yourself in the "why" follow-up it is really important. "I've just seen it happen all the time. People take stuff. I saw some of my last firm walk out with a carton of toilet paper!" Whatever it is, it is more about you than it is about others.

What you want to be doing is answering the question with a relatively low percentage. "Maybe 25% to 30%?"

"Why do you think that way?"

"I think that people basically want to do the right thing and, as such they know it hurts their employer and thus themselves if they take stuff. They try to be respectful and organizations instead of steal from them. Yes, I know there are exceptions and maybe I'm off on the percentages but I prefer to think that people would rather do the right thing." That becomes a far better way to answer it than saying 75% or 80%.

In sales, you might try something slightly different.

"The people I have worked with have been hard-nosed and determined, but they wouldn't do anything to pad their expense accounts or do anything to harm their employer. When push comes to shove, they are all trying to do a great job and that's the part…" You understand where I'm going with that, right?

There is a vulnerability that you revealing about yourself in how you answer the question. Thus, if you pick a high number, you are shooting yourself in the foot

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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1 thought on “What Percentage of People Do You Think Have Taken $10 of Stuff from Their Employer? Why? (VIDEO)

  1. We wait until a large cleanup happens and then dumpster dive for bits and pieces we need and yet never get as contractors. Think external keyboards and whiteboards that are thrown away although they still in the box.

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