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Honest Contractors? What Language May Tell You

contractors

Working recently on updating our rental unit, my wife and I did a lot of the work ourselves, however we also relied on the expertise of some contractors for things out of our limited skill-set. What did their language reveal?
 
About a week ago I met with one contractor for a small project and he reviewed the job and gave me an estimate on the cost and said he will get back to me in a couple days. I agreed and the job was under way, so I thought. A week or so later I haven't heard anything from him so I called him to check on the status. He sounded surprised and somewhat confused about the job, what it entailed, and who I was. I reminded him of the details of the job and the location and he and said, “Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t think it will get done this week. I had to order some material, I didn’t have enough on hand, and it ships from California.”
 
My immediate thought was that he forgot about the job. His qualifying language, “to tell you the truth”, tipped me off. Why would he have to qualify his statement? Was he not telling me the truth earlier? Qualifying statements are always something that should catch your attention.
 
In addition to his use of a qualifying statement, he also fell into the 'well'. He said Well, to tell you the truth…” When someone says, “Well…” we should be on guard because it is often a slight stall while they are formulating a response, and it may represent a “lag before a lie.” For more about WELL, check the related article and click HERE.
 
He then said, “I had to order some material” which lacks commitment. The reason it lacks commitment is that he does not say he actually ORDERED the material, only that he HAD TO order it. Maybe he forgot to order it and didn’t want to lie and say he actually ordered it, so he told the truth, that he had to order it. Most people will tell the truth; you just have to look for or listen to what they are actually saying.
 
He also added a lot of additional detail which is unnecessary. The qualifying statement above is unnecessary as well, but also the fact he stated he “didn’t have enough on hand” and that “it ships from California.” Why would I need to know that? Quite often people who lie or are covering up for something will add additional information to try to justify or support their statements. In most cases, the shortest way to say something is the best (and most honest way) to say something. So, if he said something like; “I ordered the material but it hasn’t come in yet” I would not have had any flags raised.
 
Some confirmation that he DID forget the job was that he called me back about 10 minutes later to get the address and location of the job again "for my paperwork."
 
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Are you Right or Wrong?

right or wrong

During an investigative interview or criminal interrogation, one of the most dangerous positions or mindsets to have is believing you are right when in fact you are wrong. The problem is, when someone has this mindset they don't know they have it because they believe they are right! Only at the end of the investigation, or unfortunately in many cases, 10 or 20 years after conviction, is it clearly evident to the individual that they were wrong.

The time to prevent this from happening is before conducting an interview or interrogation, and it all starts with training. Your training should not be a compilation of pseudoscience on deceptive body language indicators. You know, the so-called experts who "read" people and make blanket statements such as "they are lying because they scratched their head", or "they are lying because they looked away and answered the question" or "they are lying because they crinkled their nose." Are there things people do with their body, face, voice, tone, language etc. that may indicate they are lying? Absolutely. There are also things people do with their body, face, voice, tone, language, etc. that may indicate they are telling the truth as well. How do you tell the difference? With the right training!       

Establishing a solid framework is a crucial component if you want to be effective and proficient when conducting interviews and interrogations. The BELIEF Interviewing model is just that; a solid framework for conducting highly effective interviews and interrogations, not only through establishing a procedural outline but also working on the psychology of the interviewer to prevent the issue of believing you are right when you are wrong!

To learn more about BELIEF Interviewing, click the link above or click HERE and scroll down to the program to see the outline and the benefits of this training!     

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Don't Treat a Turkey like a Turkey!

turkey
In the United States at the end of November we celebrate Thanksgiving, and Canada and other countries have similar days where people gather with family and friends to give thanks for everything they have. In our traditions, it usually involves eating lots of turkey with a variety of awesome side dishes! So what does this have to do with interviewing or interrogations?
 
As I mentioned, the tradition in the United States for Thanksgiving often involves eating a beautifully roasted turkey. As an investigator in law enforcement, or even other segments within the investigative world, you will come across and have to interview some “turkeys”. I may have just dated myself with that term, but if you grew up in the 1960’s or 1970’s, you know what I mean! A turkey was a slang word for a person who was just not cool, and the Urban Dictionary defines a turkey as; “a loser, an uncoordinated, inept, clumsy fool, a person who is not in with current culture and slang or is just generally uncool.” 
 
The purpose of this post is to remind you that if you ever interview a turkey, make sure you don’t treat him or her as a turkey! That goes for anyone else you interview who may be different than you and who may not fit in with your culture, whether it is a person of lower socioeconomic status, a homeless drug addict, an abusive father, an irate employee or coworker, a smug gang member, a condescending doctor or an arrogant attorney. Turkeys come in all shapes, sizes, colors and classes, and I am sure you know a few of them! 
 
The point here is that everyone wants to feel valued and to be treated with respect, even turkeys. Treating everyone with respect is a great way to help build rapport and set a strong foundation for an effective interview. It is likely to seed the subconscious desire for reciprocity as well, so if they are acting like a turkey but you treat them with respect, they may mirror your behavior and demeanor and start being more respectful as well. With rapport comes control of the interview. Treating people with respect is an element of developing rapport.
 
I am thankful that you took the time to read this, and I would be grateful if you also share this post with others as well, so click the Twitter and/or Facebook link below to share!
 
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Lucky or Good?

lucky or good

Some people say it is often better to be lucky than good. My opinion is, let's leave that to golf and NOT when conducting investigative interviews or criminal interrogations! A true professional, someone who needs to gather reliable facts and information from other people, will prepare, train and hone their skills throughout their careers. In my mind, and in the mind of those with the same philosophy of training, "luck" favors people who have invested the time and money in themselves, who have prepared and who have trained and who have honed their skills. Another thing I hear often is that you can't mix business with pleasure. Again, I disagree. The business of training is a serious thing. However, if you engage the right people in the right environment you can make the training not only valuable and effective, but also FUN! Case in point is The Lie Boat training cruise which has 18 hours of intense training with like-minded professionals on a cruise ship, which in 2016 is docking on the Island of Bermuda! Now THAT is combining business with pleasure. I hope to see you improving and honing your skills on board The Lie Boat in 2016!

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Experts in Body Language

expert

I have seen a lot of "body language experts" market themselves very effectively within the media. They are highly paid consultants who train companies and organizations, conduct keynote speeches and dazzle people at sales conferences, and even train agents within the federal alphabet soup (FBI, CIA, DOD, DHS, etc...). But as it turns out, many of them may be more experts on marketing than on body language. For me, a true expert should be someone who has done what they are teaching, not simply studied or read about it and reorganized the material into their own courses. I know that most dictionaries define an expert as "a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area." My belief is that within the definition of expert the "or" should be change to "and", and that their skill should be tested in the real world, with real people and with real lives and consequences on the line. When hiring someone as a consultant or trainer for your company or agency, or if you bring them in for a keynote presentation, make sure they have the background of doing what they plan on teaching or assisting you with if you want real results.

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