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The 7 Office Soul Toupees

Psst - Here is a new term for you. It is called the "Soul Toupee". I recently became aware of the Soul Toupee while reading the mind opening and humorous book of essays called,  "We Learn Nothing" by Tim Krieder. Below is Krieder's definition of a Soul Toupee...

“The Soul Toupee is that thing about ourselves we are most deeply embarrassed by and like to think we have cunningly concealed from the world, but which is, in fact, pitifully obvious to everybody who knows us.”

The hair toupee is one of those obvious parts about a man's hair that is fake and you are embarrassed for the guy who feels like he has to wear a toupee. When or if I get to the toupee point of my life, my head will just be shaved. Like Mr. Clean, but more brown. If you are reading this you have a Soul Toupee because you are human.

Knowing your Soul Toupee and sharing it with someone is a sign of trust with that someone. In the people you work with and/or lead, do you know their Soul Toupee? Will they share it with you? Will you share your Soul Toupee with them?

Here are Seven Office Soul Toupees. While sipping on my 6AM morning coffee I came up with Seven Office Soul Toupees. Yes, there are more than seven, but I only had the time it takes to drink one cup of coffee to come with these seven. I'm sure I will offend a few of you, but here goes...

  1. The sales guy who can not forecast. He thinks he hides his bad forecast every quarter but it shows up in obvious ways to everyone after each quarter because the numbers are way off. His soul toupee is his forecast skills. Get him to admit he can't forecast, laugh about it, then move on.
  2. The finance office jock who misses details. Show the office jock what his lack of attention to detail does to everyone's budget. He will soon get out of his office and be a real jock by working with the men and women around who can help him get the budget right.
  3. The HR pro who drinks too much. Heavy drinking HR pros are common in big companies. They are usually the ones to close down the bar with the sales team, see who sleeps with who late at night and do private Facebook messages with everyone. If you are an HR pro reading this, your soul toupee is not an HR pro who drinks too much.
  4. The hider. Usually common with people in positions of power that hide everything they do. They text during meetings, take all their calls with their door closed and take different flights than the rest of the team. They are hiding something, but nobody knows what it is. Most hiders have nothing to hide. For some deep childhood psychological reason, they like to feel special and powerful by hiding something from everybody.
  5. The bishop. The bishop type wants everyone to be his religion. No matter the setting, they turn the conversation into a talk about their church and how true it is. Their soul toupee is their addiction to their religion. Most religions have this type of person. When they leave the room everybody including people of their own religion laughs about the bishop and his talks. The bishop is equal to the heavy drinker who always wants to have a beer with you except on the other end of the extreme in that they always want to have a church talk with you.
  6. The office romantic. The office romantic can be women or men. They have dated most of the office and you can see them coming for their next romance like another sequel to a Godzilla movie. To date there are 29 Godzilla moves. You get my point. The romantic's soul toupee is their love life. We all have a love life, for some reason they can't hide their love life like you do.
  7. The exaggerator. The exaggerator is common in sales, but exists across the organization. You can reduce or add 55% to any number they give you to your advantage. If they can claim to save $100,000 with a project the real number is closer to $45,000. Call their BS and they will submit because they know their soul toupee is to exaggerate. Deep down inside they are thankful you saved them from embarrassment.

Soul toupees. In short, get people to talk about their soul toupees and you will be in the zone of trust. Isn't trust where we all want to be?