Tuesday
August 30, 2016

Signs Your Clients Are Lying to You

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Signs Your Clients Are Lying to You

In conversations with close friends, coworkers, and clients, chances are high that they're telling you lies — more than once.  

University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman revealed a staggering truth in a new study: 60 percent of people lie during a typical 10-minute conversation. Further, they tend to utter an average of two to three lies during that short time period.

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Most people aren’t even aware of the lies they tell until after the conversation, according to Feldman's study. But many people do it because they want to appear more likable and competent.

Lying has some differences among genders: "Women were more likely to lie to make the person they were talking to feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better," Feldman told Forbes.com.

So how do you know if you're being lied to? New research by Dr. Leanne ten Brinke at the Haas School of Business offers some telltale signs:

  • The other person covers their mouth. A hand on the mouth or a touch of the lips could be an unconscious body language that the person is closing off communication and could be lying. "When lying, people also instinctively cover vulnerable body parts, such as the head, neck, or abdomen, because lying makes them feel exposed, vulnerable, and open to attack," according to the article at Forbes.
  • They provide too much detail. A person who is lying tends to provide way more detail than needed. They may be trying to convince you and themselves about their fib. They also tend to repeat phrases again and again.
  • There's a disconnect between their words and body language. Their words may be saying one thing, but their body language may be saying something else. For example, they could be telling a sad story about a personal struggle, but their hand gestures and body posture are animated and excited.
  • Their eye direction changes. A person may look up and to the right when they're recalling information. They may look down when they're lying. For some people, it's the opposite. "A change in eye movement can be a very strong indicator of lying, but you have to know the person's typical pattern first," the article notes.

Source: “60% of Your Colleagues Are Lying to You,” Forbes (Jan. 21, 2016)