Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

cartoon image, very long nose
The average person hears about 200 lies every day. Most of those lies don’t matter too much and some of them may even be preferable to the truth:

  • Sure, love to see your vacation pictures
  • Nice outfit
  • Been working out, boss?

It’s that 10% or so that could be a problem, the ones where we might act differently if we had correct information. Many of you have attended my programs where we stress the 5 W questions when speaking to a delinquent customer: Who, What, Where, When and Why.

You may stand a better chance of determining the truth (the objective of lie detection) if you keep a ‘why’ question more open ended.
For example, not “Why did you pay X and Y company ahead of us”, but rather “What led you to make the decision to pay X and Y before meeting your obligations to us?”

A subtle change, but with the latter question you will tend to receive more information and listen to ‘how’ they answer as well as what they say.

“I lied to a hunter who asked me the direction an exhausted fox had taken. I don’t think I would have been a better person if I had told him the truth.”
…Bertrand Russell