How to Detect a Lie… Then Get to the Truth!

How to Tell if Someone is Lying:

Most of us think we are a good judge of people and can tell when someone is lying. But, studies consistently show that people cannot really tell if someone is lying or not. However, there is one group of people who defy these studies. Who are they? FBI Agents.

What makes FBI Agents so special? It all comes down to training. FBI Agents are taught how to detect lies. The “trick” FBI Agents are taught is this:  First, take notice of what a person’s behavior is like when they are telling the truth. Second, pay attention to when this behavior changes.

That’s it. It’s not complicated, but it does take training. Most of us don’t pay attention to another person’s behavior when we are engaged in a conversation. What is an example?

The hands. People use their hands when they talk. They make gestures, the touch their face, the tap on the table, etc. A good interviewer takes note of these in general conversation, then watches for a change. For example, a person may have their hands on their lap during the entire conversation, but when asked about where they were last Saturday night, they start to play with their hair. That is a clue they may be lying.

The key to detecting a lie is to listen and look!

                                            How to Get Someone to Tell the Truth?

Now that we have determined that someone is lying, how can we get them to admit the truth? Unlike television detective shows, merely accusing someone of lying will not make them confess. Threats don’t work either.

To get the truth, you should assume that the person wants to tell the truth, but can’t because it would cause them to get into trouble, or some similar bad outcome.

Therefore, you must give the liar reasons to tell the truth that either minimize the pain, or make the benefit outweigh the bad outcome. An example?

You didn’t mean to walk away with the jewelry, did you? You just got caught up in the excitement of the moment, right? I know you want to return it, so let’s talk about how to do just that.

It is rare that someone will be convinced to tell the truth with just one reason like this. A good interviewer, will have dozens of reasons like this – ready to go.
The key to getting the truth is to give the liar a reason to tell the truth. Just keep giving reasons, until they tell the truth!