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As reported by The Economist, the study found several key "tells" in language choice:
People who lie never try to give themselves away: it's their unconscious that does it for them. While that's clear from the word choices employed by execs in the examples above, the study they're drawn from is limited by the fact that they're based on transcripts. While The Economist piece wryly notes that we can "[e]xpect 'fantastic' results to become a thing of the past" because of executive coaching, there are other facets that are harder to control: things like body language, tone of voice, and how someone responds in a situation compared to their baseline.
I've taken the opportunity to list a few more below. Whether you choose to use them to root out lying in others or simply to more effectively mask your own is entirely your own business!
Got a story about catching a liar in the act at work? Know of any tells we've missed? Let us know in the comments field below.
--Phil Stott, Vault.com
* The one caveat to the study is that the authors assumed that all execs were lying in cases where the results they were reporting required material restatement. While that may well have been the case in a majority of instances, it's hardly surprising that an exec would have used a superlative to describe unexpectedly positive results that they were unaware were incorrect.
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