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12 WAYS TO SPOT A LIAR AT WORK?

By on April 15, 2012

My best advice is not to rely on any one signal. You’ll be more successful if you look for clusters of behaviors (three or four body language cues that reinforce one another). To increase your chances of spotting a falsehood, watch for a cluster of body language cues that include:

1. A fake smile. It’s hard for liars to give a real smile while seeking to deceive. (Real smiles crinkle the corners of the eyes and change the entire face. Faked smiles involve the mouth only.)

2. Unusual response time. When the lie is planned (and rehearsed), deceivers start their answers more quickly than truth-tellers. If taken by surprise, however, the liar takes longer to respond – as the process of inhibiting the truth and creating a lie takes extra time.

3. Verbal cues. When lying, a person’s vocal tone will rise to a higher pitch. Other verbal cues include rambling, selective wording (in which one avoids answering the question exactly as asked), stammering, and the use of qualifiers (“To the best of my knowledge.” “I could be wrong . . . “). It’s also been noted that liars use fewer contractions: “I did not have sex with that woman . . .” rather than “I didn’t . . . ”

4. Under or over production of saliva. Watch for sudden swallowing in gulps or the increased need to drink water or moisten lips.

5. Pupil dilation. One nonverbal signal that is almost impossible to fake is pupil dilation. The larger pupil size that most people experience when telling a lie can be attributed to an increased amount of tension and concentration.

6. Change in blink rate. A person’s blink rate slows down as she decides to lie and stays low through the lie. Then it increases rapidly (sometimes up to eight times normal rate) after the lie.

 

 

7.  Foot movements. When lying, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements. Feet will fidget, shuffle and wind around each other or around the furniture. They will stretch and curl to relieve tension, or even kick out in a miniaturized attempt to run away.

8. Face touching. A person’s nose may not grow when he tells a lie, but watch closely and you’ll notice that when someone is about to lie or make an outrageous statement, he’ll often unconsciously rub his nose. (This is most likely because a rush of adrenaline opens the capillaries and makes his nose itch.) Mouth covering is another common gesture of people who are being untruthful, as is covering the eyes.

9. Incongruence. When a person believes what she is saying her gestures and expressions are in alignment with her words. When you see a mismatch — where gestures contradict words – such as a side-to-side head shake while saying “yes” or a person frowning and staring at the ground while telling you she is happy, it’s a sign of deceit or at least an inner conflict between what that person is thinking and saying.

 

Read the entire article here on Forbes.com