Seven steps to spotting liars in action

Most workplace lies (and liars) are discovered after the fact – it's time to put an end to the cycle and end the lies before the harm is done

Seven steps to spotting liars in actionMost workplace lies (and liars) are discovered after the fact – after you’ve signed the faulty contract, hired the wrong person or agreed to work on that career-limiting project. Wouldn’t it be great (as well as a professional advantage) to spot liars in action, before the harm was done? To sharpen your lie-detection ability, follow…

One day a year should be set aside for absolute honesty

I'd give anything for a national Honesty Day, where we can tell the unvarnished truth without worrying about the repercussions

One day a year should be set aside for absolute honestyI think there should be one day of the year designated as Honesty Day where we are allowed to say whatever we want to whomever we want and have it be the absolute unvarnished truth about how we feel. But here’s the kicker. It would have to be universally agreed among everyone that there would…

Men are bigger liars than women

Men lie about their accomplishments, salaries, and status. Women, by contrast, lie to minimize their perceived deficiencies

Men are bigger liars than womenI don’t mean that men tell more lies, or are better at lying. But men and women lie about different things. When men lie, it’s often to look bigger – taller, richer, more powerful and more sexually attractive. In both personal ads and in face-to-face conversations, men tend to “inflate” the numbers by saying they…

In search of truth in the face of political lies

These untruths reflect badly on candidates, and much more on the ability of the electorate to make thoughtful and informed decisions

In search of truth in the face of political liesWe live in a society of law and order, of values and mission statements, oversight, accountability, and in which transparency is highly valued. Witnesses at judicial hearings are held in contempt if they lie, individuals who knowingly make false and harmful statements can be held libellous, advertisers can’t lie about their products, students can’t cheat…

Do you look like a liar when you’re telling the truth?

If you don’t look like you’re telling the truth, it won’t matter that you actually are

I once spoke to MBA students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business as part of a wonderful program called the Mastery in Communication Initiative. In its expert speakers’ series, Stanford invites “pioneers in the field of communication” to share their insights with business students. In my presentation, on “How to Spot Liars at Work…

Are you lying or is your eye just itchy?

These 7 facial gestures can denote deceit but also be the result of simple nervousness

Are you lying or is your eye just itchy?Have you ever wondered if someone really wants to be in a conversation with you? Could you be unknowingly undermining your rapport efforts with your body language (and theirs)? As soon as we come into contact with others, before we even exchange one word, we are communicating. For this reason, understanding your own body language and having…

Why it’s not that easy to catch someone in a lie

Seven reasons why it is still hard to know when you are being lied to

Why it’s not that easy to catch someone in a lie"You're next in line for a promotion." "Let's have lunch sometime." "I'd love to read your report." "No, those pants don't make you look fat." We get lied to all the time. People are dishonest out of politeness, to avoid punishment, to protect others, or to deliberately mislead for personal gain. Some years back, Tim…

Five tips to spotting liars at work

While not foolproof, these tips are strong indicators of possible deception

Five tips to spotting liars at workHere are my tips to help in spotting liars at work. 1. Begin with a baseline Spotting liars begins with observing a person’s baseline behaviour under relaxed or generally stress-free conditions so that you can detect meaningful deviations. One of the strategies that experienced interviewers use is to ask a series of simple questions while…

When is it OK to tell lies at work?

When asked if it was ever okay to lie at work, most people said 'yes!', but only under certain circumstances

When is it OK to tell lies at work?We tell all sorts of lies at work. We flatter, exaggerate, omit, and mislead – primarily to avoid punishment, to make ourselves look better, to control information, or to protect others. Some of our workplace lies trigger feelings of anxiety, guilt, or remorse. But there are other lies that many of us feel justified in…

There is a high cost to workplace deception

Build a culture of candor by expecting your people to be honest, to communicate openly and to treat people nicely

There is a high cost to workplace deceptionLies in the workplace are expensive. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, a typical organization loses five per cent of its revenue to fraud – a potential global loss of $3.5 trillion dollars. But the cost of out-and-out fraud pales in comparison to the monumental cost of the erosion of trust that occurs…

There’s no taboo to social lying

Too often, the truth can set you free – from jobs, relationships, money and social opportunities

There’s no taboo to social lyingThe first thing to remember in this day of mass media saturation is that there are no great lies – if something is repeated often enough it becomes the truth. That being said, the ultimate great lie is that it is always better to tell the truth. There are needful lies; lies of omission, white…

Hijab hoax story could have unfortunate long-term consequences

The fact that a child lied is not the story. The fact that those in authority accepted, and publicized, an 11-year-old girl's story without checking the facts is

Hijab hoax story could have unfortunate long-term consequencesThere have been stories of adults and children lying to the public about everything from getting robbed to being raped. The ruse Canadians just experienced could leave a bad taste in our mouths for some time. On Jan. 12, the Toronto Police Service’s Twitter feed reported an attack at Pauline Johnson Junior Public School by…

Why it’s hard to spot a liar

Most of the observable signs of lying (helping to spot a liar) are dependent on the liar feeling a negative emotional arousal and an uncomfortable sense of conflict

Why it’s hard to spot a liarA short time after The Truth About Lies in the Workplace was published, I received this email: I had just begun reading your book, and had gotten to the part about body language signs that point to someone who is lying when I was confronted with a real life situation. A parcel (that was meant…

6 reasons we suck at spotting liars

The best way of countering liars is to follow the old adage “trust, but verify”

6 reasons we suck at spotting liarsRecognizing that we are being lied to is an important social and business skill. But surprisingly small factors about someone, – where we meet them, what they wear, what their voices sound like, whether their posture mimics ours, if they mention the names of people we know or admire – can enhance their credibility to…

The truth about lies in the workplace

Everyone lies – it's part of human nature. And nothing can weaken a network or destroy a reputation faster than being exposed as a liar. So minimize your lies

The truth about lies in the workplaceWouldn’t it be convenient if the workforce were divided neatly into “us” versus “them?” We, of course, would be the good guys who were always upfront and truthful. They would be the rotten apples whose destructive lies betray the confidence placed in them and ruin everything for the rest of us. If that scenario were…