Posted: January 19, 2012
Lately, I had to improve some of my coaching skills to help people, managers mostly, to be much more efficient and accurate in the way of leading job interviews for new applicants.
So, I had to have a look on topics linked to deception, non-verbal communication and lie detection.
It’s very important for my job to get many different sources of inspiration in order to spread my vision and my ideas about topics I have to deal with.
So, I bought some books about non-verbal communication so to have a clear idea of the components we should work on to improve our lie detection ability.
Pamela MEYER’s “Liespotting” is definitely the best book I read about this topic.
I used to know about her through her wonderful TED’s presentation about liespotting ‘How to spot a liar”.
The book is a masterpiece to me.
It’s inspiring and definitely is the kind of book you can read over and over again for a lifetime.
As Pamela MEYER says, lies detection depends on many, many, many things : the context of the interview, the baseline behavior of the subject, what is said, what is not said, the gestures, the micro-facial expressions and so on and so forth.
Liespotting is an art and not science. Detecting lies and deception takes time and always needs many angles of reading.
The book explains, in very different ways, that it’s quite impossible to detect a lie just wtih of a winkle or a hand gesture.
Meyer clearly tells the reader that, whatever the situation, he mustn’t rush to assume a lie fabrication just because of something he’ll extract from a global context. And this point is hardly contradictory with some popular TV Shows like ‘Mentalist’.
About this show, though each Mentalist episode is thoroughky built, thought and designed with some experts of lie detection, the rythm, the flow of each episode is so high that anyone could believe that, just in a glimpse, liespotters can guess everything about everybody in a blink.
And, that’s a true lie.
However, Mentalist is a real good TV show. I dig it. I bought DVD’s, saw bonuses and making-off footages that clearly show that, for example, any character lying attitude is hard-and-deeply-worked-out thoroughly by actors : incongruencies between gestures and words, asymetrical attitudes and positions, nostrils moves and so on and so forth.
The question that came to me is : Why is this show so popular and what makes it a so successfull one ?
My guess ? It’s all about self-confidence, good self-esteem and freedom.
Here’s an explanation of my point :
- Like him, we’d like to read minds to feel less vulnerable, to be less paranoïd and reassure ourselves
- The man is a pain in the ass but, he’s not afraid of looking like an idiot and he’s always ready to be wrong
- Tough he’s very elegant and charming, he tells rudely and without shame everything he’s convinced about
- He doesn’t do what he does to be loved by people
- His dark side and his cynism upset people as much as his angel face could please them. He’s a blond angel with a sort of damned soul
- He’s fun, breaks rules and makes his workmates’ professional lives less boring
- He seems to be almighty even if he says that what he does is all about science and that there’s no such things as psychics
- He gives us the impression that we could be mentalist because what he does seem sooooo simple
- He seems to fear nothing at all and we ask ourselves how he could have overcome the slaughter of his family
- He has nothing to do but working for the CBI. He’s human : he depends on friendship and needs a purpose like everyone of us
- The only power he has is to be enough free so to say what he thinks, whent he wants.
Hence, the reasons why we are fascinated by Patrick JANE is just because he gives us a picture of freedom we’d like to have in our life.
He’s free because he has a good self-esteem that allows him to not be bothered by what people may think about him.
He’s free because he can detect lies. He can lower his level of potential paranoia and get a genuine self-confidence by detecting anger, grudge or even contempt.
As a consequence, he reaches a level of freedom hard to achieve for us.
And that’s the reason why we are so fascinated and charmed by him.