My family recently rented the first season of Lie to Me on Netlix. If you’re not familiar with the Fox series starring Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, the world’s leading deception expert. It’s a “compelling drama series inspired by the scientific discoveries of a real-life psychologist who can read clues embedded in the human face, body and voice to expose the truth and lies in criminal investigations.”
Criminal investigations. Now that’s useful, but why stop there? I wish Dr. Lightman would come visit my HR department. Don’t get me wrong, I work at a great company full of wonderful people. But sometimes their stories just don’t match up. Although it would tiresome to have Dr. Lightman around constantly (because he’s constantly calling people on every discrepancy of word, gesture and expression), I’d love to be able to call on him to assist with a sexual harassment claim, or any number of other “he said, she said” scenarios played out on the job.
Or how about employment interviews? If, as Dr. Lightman claims, a typical person lies three times during a ten minute conversation, then we’re really in trouble during the average job interview! That’s, what, twelve or fifteen untruths as we get to know each other and assess whether the candidate is the best fit for the role? And when we talk about lies in interviews, we’re usually thinking of those perpetuated by the candidate. But what about those put forth by the hiring manager or recruiter? Hmmmmm. Dr. Lightman, where are you?
How would you use Dr. Lightman’s services at work?