By Chris Simmons
Individuals sometimes withhold information for any number of reasons. That said, there is an easy way to discover when you are confronted with a lie of omission. When discussing events or people with a counterpart, your colleague will generally pay equal attention to all the “unknowns.” However, if the other party shows a heightened interest in any area(s), it is probably because they are already familiar with the person/event.
For example, an office manager gives a supervisor five resumes and asks her to run the hiring action. As she flips through the resumes, she lingers on one of the candidates. Noticing her action, the manager asks; “You don’t know any of the applicants, do you?” “No,” she answers, “I was just trying to get a feel for how long I should set aside for this.” Satisfied with her answer, the manager walks away. However, her behavioral “tell” indicates there is a strong likelihood she did recognize a name from the resumes, although it is not known whether the individual is a friend or an enemy.
Familiarity will always capture a larger share of our attention, regardless of whether the item of interest is a person, place, thing, or event. Use the “Liar’s Law of Attraction” to identify a lie of omission and pair it with an appropriate line of questioning to discover the whole truth.