Would you know if your employees were lying to you? Many people think that it’s possible to tell if someone’s lying by looking for subtle clues, “tells,” or “micro-expressions” a person may unwittingly display while lying. Certain changes in eye contact, body language, and tone are thought to indicate deception, or so the conventional wisdom goes. However, according to studies in deception research, attempting to identify a liar by looking for these signs is not much more effective than guessing!
The reason people are so bad at guessing when someone is being deceptive lies in the pure variety of human expression. Everyone has their own vocal mannerisms and body language style, not to mention personal reactions to lying (Are they nervous? Exhilarated? Guilty?), so attempting to identify universal tells is an exercise in futility.
However, there is a much more effective way to tell if someone is lying. Read on to learn 4 ways to catch a liar, or better yet, give us a call. As professional corporate investigators in Orange County and Los Angeles, we are experienced in interrogation, surveillance, and a host of other ways to help you root out the liars who could be robbing your organization through employee theft, fraud, or embezzlement.
- Ask open-ended questions. You may be familiar with this strategy thanks to the idiom “Give him enough rope to hang himself.”
- Surprise them. Asking a question “out of left field” or requesting that the person describe a course of events backwards chronologically increases their “cognitive load,” making it harder for them to keep up with the details of their lie.
- Check the details. Pay attention to concrete details you can later check up on. If you notice a discrepancy, don’t give it away- let the liar continue digging themselves into a hole.
- Look for a change in mood or tone. If the suspect is weaving a long-winded tale for you but then all of a sudden gets quiet and terse after being pressed on a question, you may have uncovered a hole in their story.
If you suspect that an employee is lying to you or covering something up, it’s best not to tip your hand. Just give us a call at 714-406-4618 to discuss your situation and find out how we can help with corporate investigations in Orange County and beyond.