To blag or not to blag?

For some, blagging comes naturally to people in their day-to-day lives. It might be ad-libbing a presentation at work or fixing the TV aerial at home. For others, blagging is something exciting, a form of risk-taking – getting into an exclusive nightclub on a night out or sneaking back stage at a concert.

But it’s not the everyday, one-off blagging I’m talking about on this occasion. This post is more to do with those who try to blag their way through life – and work – all the time.

There are a number of ways to define ‘blag’, although one of the best definitions for me is:

“To convince by rhetoric; to gain acceptance or approval through persuasive banter or conversation; trickery; keenly persuasive; to scrounge by means of conversation”

Those that blag regularly are clever and practice the ‘art’ by continually trying their luck. They develop a self-assurance and  belief in what they say and do – whether they really know what they’re saying or doing at all!

But does blagging work? And is it something that can be sustained over a period of time?

I don’t believe blagging is wrong or morally unjust. Blagging is something we all do at various points in our lives. In a job interview, for example, we may not have a confident answer to every question, and so we blag it a little and get by. Or when the boss asks how the phone call you were supposed to make to a disgruntled customer went. You forgot, so you blag your way out of it, say they weren’t available and then make the call. A little white lie here and there never hurt anyone!

But blagging won’t work for you all the time. At some point, someone will inevitably call your bluff, and unless you truly know your stuff then there’s always a chance you might get caught out. And if you do get caught out, then any credibility you might of built up will more than likely go up in smoke.

Whatever type of work you do, whether it’s as a sales exec or as a bank clerk, you need to know what you’re talking about. There needs to be substance behind the confidence so that you’ve always got something to fall back on, even if you’re challenged.

The people I admire most are those that practice their craft, do the work and demonstrate their skill through the knowledge they have developed over time. Blagging can be a part of that , but not the main part.


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