We talk a lot about vetting potential mates, so that we make the best choices for our partners. But let’s face it..there’s a lot of men out there that run a good game and we can’t always know when someone is being truthful. As experienced as I am, I STILL get deceived every now and again, which is why I was really intrigued about a book I ran across called Get the Truth. It is written by two former CIA officers who claim the advice within can teach you “how to persuade anyone to tell all.”
The authors of the book provides 10 Tips for Getting to the Truth. Take notes!
1) Understand that the reason the individual wants to conceal the truth is the fear of negative consequences if the truth is revealed. He likely feels that there is just so much he can tell you and still keep himself out of harm’s way–he can go only so far without stepping over the cliff. Think of your goal as diminishing that fear so you can determine what’s on the other side of the cliff.
2) Adopt a sincere, understanding tone and demeanor. There’s a saying to the effect that the guilty person seeks only to be understood, for to be understood give the appearance of being forgiven. Far from confrontational or belligerent, the demeanor you project should be engaged, calm, empathetic, and most of all, sincere. Slowing your rate of speech and lowering your voice a bit will aid you tremendously in evincing sincerity.
3) Help the person rationalize his actions. This will nudge him to step in the direction of being less focused on long-term consequences, and more focused on the reasons you’re giving him to see telling the truth as a viable option. Rationalizing his actions or behavior by reminding him, for example, that everyone is human, and that everyone makes mistakes, will help weaken his resolve to withhold the truth.
4) Minimize the seriousness of the situation. The more you’re able to downplay the consequential nature of the matter about which the individual is withholding the truth, the more comfortable he will be to share the information you’re seeking. When he hears you say, “It’s important that we not blow this out of proportion,” he’ll be struck by how reasonable you are, and you’ll likely be perceived as much less of an adversary.
5) Socialize the situation so that person doesn’t feel so alone. If I have the impression that you and others might think of me as a pariah if I admit that I did a bad thing, I’m going to be awfully reluctant to admit it. On the other hand, if you tell me this is the sort of thing you see all the time being done by the men and women in all walks of life, I’m going to feel much less alienated. I’ll be more willing to recount the experience I now realize I share with plenty of other people.
6) Assure the individual that there is plenty of blame to go around. Chances are a person who wants to conceal the truth will not have adopted a “buck stops here” mentality. It’s always easier for someone to fess u if he sees that the finger isn’t being pointed soley at him. Liberally shower the blame wherever you can convincingly do so–society, the system, management, bad apples are all potential accomplices in causing the bad thing to happen.
7) Don’t allow the person to voice a lie or a denial. If the person is in lying or denial mode, you don’t want his lips moving–the more opportunity he’s given to articulate the lie, the more psychologically entrenched he’ll become, and the less likely he will be to reverse himself and tell you the truth. If the person starts to express a lie or denial, immediately disarm him by simply holding up your hand, saying his name, and using a control phrase like, “Hang on just a minute.” Then go right back to giving hime all the reasons why telling the truth is a viable option.
8) Take advantage of the power of repetition. Human nature is such that the more frequently we hear something, the emote likely we are to believe it, or to at least be open to the possibility. Remember that if the person is in denial mode, you don’t want his lips moving, so you’re the one doing the talking. Freely rearticulate the rationalization, minimization, socialization, and projection of blame that will help the person, ever if only temporarily, to see things your way.
9) The more implicit you are in the language you use, the easier it will likely be for the person to buy in to what you’re saying. If you tell the person you want to work with him to help get the matter “resolved,” let his mind take that where it will. To you, “resolved” might mean a conviction. To him, it might mean something he can live with. Similarly, avoid any language that might remind the person of negative consequences: He “took” rather “stole” the language that might remind the person of negative consequences: He “took” rather than “stole” the jewelry: he “gained unfair advantage” rather than “cheated” on the test; he “inappropriately touched” rather than “assaulted” the woman.
10) Never sit in judgment. Remember that your goal from the outset was to get the truth, not to assume the roles of judge and jury. That goal will be considerably more difficult to accomplish if the person feels that you’re judging him, so make sure you avoid chastising or reprimanding him in any way. You want him to see you as a confidant, not as an arbiter of his fate.