Saturday, October 22, 2011

how to spot a liar


Video - Pam Myer How to spot a liar.

TED | Okay, now I don't want to alarm anybody in this room, but it's just come to my attention that the person to your right is a liar. (Laughter) Also, the person to your left is a liar. Also the person sitting in your very seats is a liar. We're all liars. What I'm going to do today is I'm going to show you what the research says about why we're all liars, how you can become a liespotter and why you might want to go the extra mile and go from liespotting to truth seeking, and ultimately to trust building.

Now speaking of trust, ever since I wrote this book, "Liespotting," no one wants to meet me in person anymore, no, no, no, no, no. They say, "It's okay, we'll email you." (Laughter) I can't even get a coffee date at Starbucks. My husband's like, "Honey, deception? Maybe you could have focused on cooking. How about French cooking?"

So before I get started, what I'm going to do is I'm going to clarify my goal for you, which is not to teach a game of Gotcha. Liespotters aren't those nitpicky kids, those kids in the back of the room that are shouting, "Gotcha! Gotcha! Your eyebrow twitched. You flared your nostril. I watch that TV show 'Lie To Me.' I know you're lying." No, liespotters are armed with scientific knowledge of how to spot deception. They use it to get to the truth, and they do what mature leaders do everyday; they have difficult conversations with difficult people, sometimes during very difficult times. And they start up that path by accepting a core proposition, and that proposition is the following: Lying is a cooperative act. Think about it, a lie has no power whatsoever by its mere utterance. Its power emerges when someone else agrees to believe the lie.

So I know it may sound like tough love, but look, if at some point you got lied to, it's because you agreed to get lied to. Truth number one about lying: Lying's a cooperative act. Now not all lies are harmful. Sometimes we're willing participants in deception for the sake of social dignity, maybe to keep a secret that should be kept secret, secret. We say, "Nice song." "Honey, you don't look fat in that, no." Or we say, favorite of the digiratti, "You know, I just fished that email out of my spam folder. So sorry."

But there are times when we are unwilling participants in deception. And that can have dramatic costs for us. Last year saw 997 billion dollars in corporate fraud alone in the United States. That's an eyelash under a trillion dollars. That's seven percent of revenues. Deception can cost billions. Think Enron, Madoff, the mortgage crisis. Or in the case of double agents and traitors, like Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames, lies can betray our country, they can compromise our security, they can undermine democracy, they can cause the deaths of those that defend us.

Deception is actually serious business. This con man, Henry Oberlander, he was such an effective con man British authorities say he could have undermined the entire banking system of the Western world. And you can't find this guy on Google; you can't find him anywhere. He was interviewed once, and he said the following. He said, "Look, I've got one rule." And this was Henry's rule, he said, "Look, everyone is willing to give you something. They're ready to give you something for whatever it is they're hungry for." And that's the crux of it. If you don't want to be deceived, you have to know, what is it that you're hungry for? And we all kind of hate to admit it. We wish we were better husbands, better wives, smarter, more powerful, taller, richer -- the list goes on. Lying is an attempt to bridge that gap, to connect our wishes and our fantasies about who we wish we were, how we wish we could be, with what we're really like. And boy are we willing to fill in those gaps in our lives with lies. Fist tap Arnach.

4 comments:

Dale Asberry said...

I have her book in my Nook library. If anyone wants to borrow it (per the B&N borrowing permissions), just give me a holler.

Big Don said...

BD does not lie.  Gaddafi is said to have had $200B http://www.businessinsider.com/qaddafi-200-billion-richest-2011-10
If he had observed BD's cardinal rule, WITHOUT DEFENSE YOU HAVE NOTHING, he would have had a rock solid personal exit strategy (e.g., multiple Learjets, or submarines, or whatever ready to go to safe places  from easily accessed secure sites) if things got too hot at the palace.  Holed up in a drain pipe...ROTFLMAO. 

Makheru Bradley said...

I would like to see where your ass would hole up after being attacked by hellfire missiles from one of Obama's drones. Cowards and punk leaders like Obama and Bush who've never fought in a battle need exit strategies. Muammar Qaddafi was a warrior. He fought with his people in Sirte against incredible odds.

However, your point about defense is well-taken. Qaddafi should have never given up his nuclear program.  Attempting to accommodate the imperial powers was pure folly.  Betrayal is their modus operandi.  Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz remains as the only successful independent model to emulate.

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