The Human Lie Detector
Twenty years ago, I was the Head of HR for a $1.5B organization with 8,000 employees. As a large organization we occasionally had claims filed against us, which required an investigation. We took this very seriously, so we hired someone who worked with the FBI to teach us interrogation techniques; as I said we took this very seriously. For two days he stood in front of our 10-person employee relations team providing intel on how to identify if someone is lying, examples included:
- Looking to your right/their left to remember something (truthful)
- Looking to your left/their right to imagine something (lying)
- Dry mouth (lying)
- Big movements uncharacteristic of the person (lying)
It was great training as a mother, even if I never investigated another case for work! What surprised me was the number of HR people who intuitively knew all of this. They said they could always “feel” when someone was lying. I’m observant and can identify when something doesn’t logically add up however, I could never grasp the “feeling” they described. A decade later I learned about MPO and studied Emotional Spontaneity (ES) and the intuitive feeling described by my former colleagues made more sense.
This is ES
As someone with an ES of 2, I will be forever grateful to Kirsten Fisher, the HR Director at the City of Marion, ES of 9. When she asks, “How are you really?” it’s not superficial. It’s a “I-know-how-you-are-but-I-want-you-to-tell-me-first” way. I jokingly called her a Human Lie Detector, because she knows when I’m “off” long before I recognize it, let alone feel it. Kirsten recently sent me this video, This is Why You Should Never Lie to an Empath, with the message, “My High ES in a TikTok video.” When I watch this video I gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for those with a higher ES.
We need a balance of all traits and personalities in the world. Those who first react with logic, can handle the mechanics of a crisis quickly. Those who first react with emotion/sensitivity, will help to identify and address the way people are feeling in a crisis. Both approaches are needed, because a plan without connecting with people at an emotional level will stall very quickly. And, the reverse is true, as well.