Monthly Archives: January 2007

Detecting Lies and Insincerity

It’s a terrible subject, I know, but it is a reality to be reckoned with in our daily business and social lives. In business we may meet a dishonest sales person, a customer trying to cheat their way to a complimentary item, the manipulative opposing team member in negotiations. In our daily life, think blind date, “friendly” neighbour, and some teenagers.

Lie detection is not an exact science, or else our courts would have a much swifter and more accurate delivery system of justice. However, there are some clues that we can pay attention to, and keep a mental file on certain people and their behaviours. Observation is the key here, but don’t jump to conclusions based on one gesture or comment! Look for synchronicity, or lack thereof.

If we follow the 3V Communications philosophy, we should look at 3 areas: verbal, vocal, and visual cues.

Verbal cues:

Stammering e.g. Uh…ah…uhmm…well…

Illogical order of a story, with “forgotten” details


Start and stop stories

Too many “neat” details that you didn’t ask for

Sounds too well prepared or rehearsed

Vocal cues:

Hesitating, shaky voice

Inconsistent pitch. Sharp rises in tone

Fast speed, then long pauses

Unemotional. Could be rehearsed

Visual Cues:

Face – blushing, or flushing

Nose – touching or rubbing the side (i.e. not a natural scratch)

Hands – closed palms, or hiding palms or entire hands under the table or in pockets. (Note: open hands have traditionally meant “no weapons”, open communication, friendliness, trust)

Eyes – lack of eye contact, or darting glances back and forth, or looking up and to the right, which can mean “visually constructing something”

Mouth – weird smile, especially with closed lips. Showing teeth usually is more genuine. Closed lips are a sign of a forced smile. Also hiding or covering the mouth is a non-verbal cue of “covering” the lie

An awkward laugh is also a sign of embarrassment, nervousness or deceit

The lesson here is to pay attention to people you meet and do business with, and try to make yourself observe more each day. Look for synchronicity between the 3Vs and the chances are higher that you will find the truth, in any situation. But remember, these things by themselves are not “smoking guns”. Follow up as you see fit, but keep your cool, in case you are wrong! Good luck detective!

Upcoming Communication Workshops

Hello everyone,

Recently I have been getting a lot of calls and emails regarding effective communications training from individuals, companies, the government, and NPOs. It seems to me that the demand for soft skills is greater now than it ever was. Coinciding with this is the boom of semi or highly-skilled immigrants coming into Canada.

Let me just remind everyone that these days in business it is not enough to just have hard skills. We must be able to communicate effectively with others in and outside our workplace, to build rapport easily, to understand what body language says, to choose our words carefully, to deliver the correct message, and most importantly, to listen carefully and correctly interpret others’ meaning behind their words.

On that note, I’d like to broadcast an upcoming joint-venture workshop. If interested please follow the link or cut and paste it into your browser, or contact me directly.

Communication Skills Refinement; Impact & Influence
York University Learning Centre – Sat. Feb. 24th 2007, 9am-3pm

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome and thank BRASI (Business Research And Service Institute) for organizing this and future workshops for newcomers to Canada and the Supply Chain Professionals.

Finally I’d like to include the new link to my interview article that ran in the Toronto Sun/ January 10th 2007, as the original link from that day has expired, and has been replaced with this permanent one.

Thank you all, and remember that if you have any comments, requests for topics or any questions about the communication coaching process, please do not hesitate to ask.

Improve your body language, improve your confidence!

Improve your body language, improve your confidence!

The way that you move your body and walk has an enormous effect on the way that you feel and your confidence levels.

Let’s start with an exercise.
Imagine there are two people standing in front of you – one with “negative body language” and one with “positive body language”.

I’d now like you to write down what you are observing with each of these people.


Positive Body Lang.

Negative Body Lang.

How are they standing?


Where are their eyes looking?


Where have they got their head?


How are they talking?



How are they moving?




You know, how you feel at any moment in time is linked to what is going on in your head and how you are moving your body. The way that you move sends subconscious messages to your mind and this either helps or hinders the way that you feel.

Emotion is created by motion. If you sit still for a long period of time your natural energy levels automatically lower. And what happens when you get up, walk around and return to your seat? Yes, you have more energy and you’re given a boost. I can’t stress how important it is to move and act confidently and positively.

You will give off all the right vibes to everyone around you and it will make them think that you are confident even if you’re not feeling it inside.

Yes, that’s right. Even if you’re not feeling confident, act as though you are.

So, how do you do this?

Well, controlled and with a purpose. Don’t saunter along aimlessly. Walk like you know exactly where you’re going and keep your head up, chin level. Gesture with your hands as you talk, it will create motion and you know what that leads to – EMOTION!

The right gestures also have a major impact on building rapport.  Smooth, engaging gestures work best, especially those that match and complement your words and speech patterns. And don’t forget to smile!

Think for a moment about your confidence role model.

One thing that he/she and confident people in general have in common is that they all probably smile a lot and are happier than their negative counterparts. It may sound silly, but there is a lot of power associated with a smile. So what I would like you to do is to start smiling more often.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to walk around with a silly grin on your face all of the time.

But smile as you walk down the street, when you talk to someone, even when you look in the mirror at yourself. You will be surprised at how better you will feel for it, and it will project a positive image to all others – one that will attract opportunities and people.

Remember that confident people are happy people and negative people are not.
Happy people are also seen as more attractive than unhappy and sad people so that is an added bonus!

So in closing, be aware that your body movements can and will affect how you feel and how others perceive you, and also remember that you can proactively help to project a confident image with some simple, minor adjustments any time of the day.