There’s an episode of the old “Gilligan’s Island” television show where the castaways eat seeds that make mind reading possible. While it seems fun at first, the Gilligan gang soon finds out that sometimes it’s best not to know what everyone is thinking all the time.
But wouldn’t you like to know what your boss is thinking? Wouldn’t you like to know whether someone at work is telling you the truth or not?
There may be a way to do that without eating some seeds on a fictional island.
If you take the advice of some of the best lie detectors in the world – CIA officers – then you may be able to glean when the boss is fibbing about giving you a raise or a co-worker is lying about meeting a deadline. Such information can be helpful in making career decisions and avoiding missteps that can get you off the fast track.
In a new book, “Spy the Lie,” three former CIA officers share decades of experience in recognizing deceptive behavior and how you can apply their methods to everyday work situations.
One of the authors, Michael Floyd, has spent 35 years finding the truth for the CIA and the National Security Agency. While he says that you don’t want to use these methods to decide who is lying about a romantic weekend liaison while gossiping around the water cooler, it can come in handy in more critical work situations, such as a job interview or to discover who may be cheating on an expense report.
The authors stress that the average person often doesn’t detect untruths because he or she believes that others simply won’t lie or they are just uncomfortable judging someone else. In addition, sometimes we rely on beliefs by others that a person is honest, so we don’t look deeply enough and take everything at face value, they say.
“We’re not human lie detectors,” Floyd says of his fellow authors, Philip Houston and Susan Carnicero. “But we’ve developed a method to help spot deceptions based on our experiences, in real-world situations.”
One of the indicators that a person may be lying is a “cluster” of behavior. Exhibiting what’s considered one suspicious action isn’t enough to show someone is being deceitful, they say, but several clues should put up your radar.
Listening for lies
Some of the verbal cues that someone is not being truthful include:
Looking for lies
There are also nonverbal cues that can indicate someone is being less that truthful. It’s important, the authors note, to consider only those cues that come in direct response to your questions. For example:
Finally, Floyd says one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting all the information you need is to ask a catch-all question, such as “Is there anything else I need to know about this incident?”
“You can’t think of every question to ask, and they may not tell you if you don’t ask directly,” he says. “They often give you some very good information.”
What are some ways you have combated lying? Let us know in the comment section!