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How to Detect and Prevent Lying Behaviors

Do you ever get that feeling that someone is lying to you, but you’re not quite sure, and you don’t want to ask them since you want to keep the conversation flowing. Perhaps this is a friend who is telling a little white lie or perhaps it is a co-worker who is warming up to the boss.  We are surrounded by lies in our society, and it’s good to identify when you’re being lied to. One way is to ask a question that alludes to a person’s possible lying behavior since if you accuse the person outright, you will put him on the defensive.  Another way is to present a similar scenario and ask the person how they would correct it.  A third way is to start the sentence out with, “Isn’t it amazing” and allude to the behavior or lie in a general way.

Never Be Lied to Again by David Lieberman, is a good read and gives you a myriad of concrete examples to raise your awareness as to when someone is lying to you.  In my fields of competitive intelligence and sales intelligence, we are often asking questions to collect data, whether developing an opportunity analysis for new product or service, finding out when a competitor is introducing a new product, or determining why our customers really buy or don’t buy from us. It is imperative to be attuned as to whether the person you’re talking to is telling you the truth or not. Important decisions are being affected by the information and analysis we develop.

Here are a few tips David shares that I have noticed in my experience:

* Deceitful responses to your questions about beliefs and attitudes take longer to deliver.
* Beware of overreaction to your questions or statements.
* He depersonalizes his answer to your question by offering his belief about the subject instead of answering your question directly.
* He will use your words to make his point.
* Liars often slouch, and are unlikely to stand tall with their arms out or outstretched.
* A liar won’t face you if you’re accusing him, and may turn his head or shift his body away.
* The person makes little or no eye contact.
* There is little or no physical contact during his attempt to convince you.
* The guilty tells his story bit by bit until he gets a verbal communication to stop. He speaks to fill the gap left by silence.
* A liar willingly answers your questions, but asks none of his own.
* Might say, “To be perfectly honest” or “To tell the truth” at the start of the sentence unless they do this all the time.
* Beware of answers that are pat and seem too well rehearsed.
* Use stalling techniques like asking you to repeat the question or answering your question with a question.

I’ve just touched the tip of what David offers to help you spot and prevent deception.  Do you have any tips you would like to share?

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