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How to Detect Lies From Impressions and Expressions When Negotiating

How to Detect Lies From Impressions and Expressions When Negotiating

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Body language gives away lies

Body language gives away lies

When negotiating, can you detect lies based on someone’s expressions, or the impression that he makes on you?

You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “He lied to me with a straight face.” The body never lies. So, when someone is lying, the body will compensate for his untruthfulness by displaying cover actions. Cover actions can be almost imperceptible nuances that occur when people lie, or they can also be exaggerated expressions. Nothing succeeds like success.

When a person becomes confident about his ability to lie in a negotiation, and he continuously gets away with it, he will continue to lie. In most cases, he will become emboldened to increase the intensity of his lies. You’ll have the opportunity to catch him in a lie.

The way to detect and deter a liar is to observe the verbiage he uses during the negotiation and observe his body language when you suspect him of lying. When lying …

  • People will tend to use phrases that make them feel comfortable. Take note of the comfort phrases that a person uses and note the change that occurs when he alters such phrases. When change occurs, he could be in the process of entering into a lie, or fully engaged in it.
  • People will lie to make themselves appear to be more impressive or demur. The lie will usually be accompanied with body language that exemplifies the stature of the liar. Such gestures may be observed as when the individual raises his head higher or thrusts his chin or chest forward when seeking to be perceived as being more impressive. A demur individual will tend to bow his head and present a less impressive image.
  • People will also lie to get out of tough situations. Such maneuverings will usually be accompanied with gestures that reveal their discomfort. Thus, they’ll tend to keep their arms close to their body. They’ll also tend to be more reflective, as they try to keep their story on track.

To enhance your efforts of catching a liar in his lie, switch subjects in the middle of his suspected lie. Change the subject to anything that’s unrelated to what he was discussing. After a few minutes, ask him to continue speaking about what he was discussing when you suspected he was lying. When he resumes the discussion, take note from where he continues, versus where he left off. Also, take note of the degree his demeanor has altered.

In addition, you can ask questions that highlight slight differences in what he said. For example, if he said the insurance carrier would not provide an offer of over $100,000, restate what you heard as the carrier would not offer more than $150,000. By slightly altering what you said he said, he’ll have to go into recall mode, if he was lying. If he’s telling the truth, more than likely, he’ll say without hesitation, “Oh no, it was $100,000.”

In any situation, before you can discern if someone is lying, you have to establish her baseline. That means, you have to be aware of how she gestures and use verbiage in normal environments. Then, as you seek to detect lies, note the differences between what is normal to what becomes different from normal. Therein will lay the signal to delve deeper into what she is saying.

Once you discover how to hone your skills to detecting liars, it will be increasingly difficult for someone to lie to you successfully … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • When you suspect a liar is lying, don’t be too quick to stop him. Observe the verbiage he uses and his body language. The more comfortable he becomes with his lies, the more lies he’ll tell. In so doing, he’ll give you greater insight into how he lies and why he lies. Then, you’ll know what to look for when you suspect he’s lying.
  • If you’re astute at reading body language during a negotiation, you can pick up on nonverbal signals and detect a liar’s lie before he gets too deeply into it. In so doing, you will decrease the probability of being deceived.
  • People lie because they’re seeking something they need at the time of the lie. In a negotiation, if you understand the need, you’ll understand the source of the lie. From that perspective, you can address it.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

To inquire about having The Master Negotiator as a coach or consultant, or to conduct ‘live’ instructional sessions, and/or keynote presentations at your company, group, or organization, please send an e-mail to and start getting more out of life, when you negotiate. Please include the verbiage, ‘Negotiation Inquiry’ in the subject line.
by Greg Williams – The Master Negotiator. If you’d like more information on how you can become a savvier negotiator, click here to checkout Greg’s new book, “Negotiate: Afraid, ‘Know’ More.” Please visit The Master Negotiator‘s website at for additional information and negotiation resources for individuals and businesses.

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