When you look back on the last time you interviewed a candidate for a position in your company, did you wonder whether the applicant was telling you the truth? You might know how to detect lies, but there are actually ways to increase your accuracy in lie detection. Vanessa Van Edwards, OpenSesame’s newest seller, is an expert in body language and nonverbal communication. Vanessa is a Huffington Post columnist, a keynote speaker at many corporate training events, and frequently makes appearances on popular networks like NBC’s The Today Show!
Most recently, I had the honor to attend a live, three-day workshop with Vanessa in San Francisco at CreativeLive. Her research in body language and lie detection has improved thousands of business and HR professionals’ nonverbal communication to negotiate larger salaries and successfully interview and hire qualified job candidates. To help you jump-start your journey in human lie detection, I am sharing five of Vanessa’s 20 Laws of Body Language to increase your chances in getting a raise or determine if a job candidate is actually telling you the truth.
1) Law of Intuition – Has anyone ever told you to trust your gut? Even though first impressions are not always accurate, they can give you a lot of insight into a person’s behavior. Start by learning the 7 universal micro-expressions displayed by human beings: Happiness, Fear, Anger, Contempt, Surprise, Disgust, and Sadness.
When people display the facial characteristics of these micro-expressions, they often feel the emotion matched with the mirco-expression. When someone’s verbal message is incongruent with their micro-expression, there is a chance that the person is lying. With this insight, you have the ability to become a human lie detector and tell whether or not a job candidate is telling you the truth.
2) Law of Hands – Believe it or not, your hands are the number one body part you can use to earn someone’s trust. Whether you are pitching a business idea to your colleagues or trying to earn trust from your CEO, your hands can show your ability to connect with another person.
If a job candidate is crossing their arms and hiding their hands, they might be withholding information from you. Proceed with caution because they might feel insecure. The next time you need to ease tension in a conversation, try several different gestures that display the palms of your hands.
3) Law of Space – Body expansion expresses confidence. Studies show that people who power pose tend to have higher levels of testosterone, the confidence inducing hormone, while slouchers have higher levels of cortisol, the stress inducing hormone. The best movement you can do before a business pitch is to stand like superman for 2 minutes. This will increase your confidence before your colleagues give you a standing ovation.
4) The Law of Leaning – When you lean with purpose, you show engagement and charisma. Take note of a job candidates posture the next time you hold an interview. Do they lean into the conversation when they answer your questions, or do they slouch when you present the expectations of the position. This allows you to determine their interest in working at your company. Make sure their verbal interest in the role is congruent with their leaning movements.
5) The Law of Empathy – Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s experience. You can begin to understand other people when you observe their body language. The best way to practice empathy is to mirror another person. To mirror another person, match your tone of voice and hand gestures with the other person. This is a great tool at networking events while you try to converse with strangers.
Although if someone is yelling, you might want to counter mirror them by lowering your voice until they match your volume. Mirroring can also give you the power to change how other people communicate with you.
Use these five laws to observe both your own and other people’s body language, then find an ideal communication style that works best for you. Your colleagues and friends will begin to notice positive changes. Be patient and continue to practice and experiment.
Vanessa’s Secrets of Body Language have led me to begin my own journey to improve my nonverbal communication. I have improved my elevator pitch and how I use my hands while I speak. I now feel more confident and competent in my professional and personal life.
to learn more about Vanessa and her methodology, The Science of People.
Max Dubowy is a content specialist at OpenSesame, building and maintaining OpenSesame’s seller community. Max is also a professional performer and holds his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. You can follow Max on Twitter @Maxdubowy.