Why do people lie?
Well, according to three former CIA officers, Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero, co-authors of ‘Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone To Tell All’, the three biggest reasons are:
1 Fearing the negative consequences of disclosing the truth, i.e. concealing information out of a fear of what will happen if that information is revealed. This type of lie often involves an act of wrongdoing that the person wants to hide
2 Wanting others to believe something about you that isn’t true, i.e as a way of enhancing a positive image that others may have of them
3 Wanting to avoid hurting someone’s feelings
So, how do you spot a lie? The five tell-tale signs (according to Kathy Caprino, who interviewed them for Forbes magazine, onforb.es/1GMC3C3, look out for:
1 Evasion: i.e. ‘linguistic concealment’, like failing to answer a question
2 Persuasion: i.e. where someone tries to convince you of something else, instead of conveying the information that you are asking for
3 Manipulation: i.e. where they try to disrupt your game plan, say by failing to answer a simple question
4 Aggression: This type of behaviour is typically exhibited by someone who feels cornered. Maybe by attacking your credibility or lashing out to get you to back off
5 Reaction: Here the behaviour, such as hand-to-face activity, is automatically triggered by someone’s nervous system. Like when a question creates a spike in anxiety.
So what’s key?
Look out for a cluster, i.e. a combination of at least two of these tell-tale signs. The signs can be verbal or non-verbal.
If the first tell-tale sign occurs within five seconds of the stimulus (i.e. your question), ‘you can reliably conclude that the behaviour was triggered by it’. So now you know.
Next week: The CIA’s nine ‘tried and tested’ methods for getting the truth out of anyone. Happily, none require a ‘Don’t try this at home’ warning.
Separately, I am giving a series of training workshops, starting on 21st May with ‘Settling Intractable Disputes Successfully & Getting Clients What They Want’ http://goo.gl/1rnV56. For further details or if you would like me to come in and organise a bespoke session, just let me know.