NLP can be used as Lie Detector - Fact or Fad?

One constant question that I always get ever since I started sharing about NLP is, Can I use NLP to know when someone is lying?

My answer to such questions has always been NO because I was certain that the person asking the question could never do it.  But Really - Is It Possible?


Yes - You can use NLP to know when someone is lying but the answer is not so simple, atleast it is not how people have assumed they can.



First - You cannot use Representation Systems to know if someone is lying. Let's say you ask a right handed person what color shirt he or she was wearing yesterday? And the person looks top left. It means and only means that the person constructed the image and not necessarily a lie. Because a lot of people access that kind of information by seeing a part of what they are trying to remember suspended in space which requires them to construct a new image. So every construction isn't a lie.


Second - More interesting than how people access information is where they put  it after they access it. You can watch the eye moments and gestures to calibrate this.

So people show their priorities and timelines with their eyes and hands. So if you ask someone when are they going to do ABC and calibrate for the unconscious response then you can notice and compare if their verbal description is in alignment with the information you are calibrating from thier sub modalities.

Again, a mismatch does not mean that the person is lying. It merely means there is incongruency. A part of him or her  may want to do it right away and  the other part may want to do it later.  This is as good as the information you most times would require.

Let's say you are making a sale or have an employee reporting to you. This information is powerful. Imagine if your sales cycle is 6 Months. You don't want to be wasting your time with those who have not marked a time frame or have least priority for the stuff you are selling.


Third - One possible way to know if someone is lying is to train yourself to calibrate Micro Muscle Movements and Breathing using Peripheral Vision. This way you can calibrate the changes everytime they answer a question you know they are telling the truth about. And then, you can calibrate the changes everytime they answer a question you know they are lying about. And when you have enough of these two types of observations. All you need to do is compare the differences and then ask the question you are interested in. You have enough description right now to know if the person was telling the truth or not. This requires two things - Skill and Wisdom. 

Skill - We by design ignore a lot of things around us. This is good. Otherwise we would be idiot savants. In NLP terms you call these filters. Which means you filter out information that are not considered by your system important. You can train yourself to not filter out information like breathing patterns, Micro muscle movements, tonal changes, skin color changes etc. 

Wisdom - As I mentioned above, the filters exist for a reason. And some of them for your own protection. It is easy to behave like an obsessed freak when skillfully lowering your filters if you don't know when to use your skills and where. You don't want to hurt yourself when you know someone does not really mean what they say. Becoming judgemental is the best way to turn on the filters because your unconscious will go - "This is not ecological. He/She is better off without these skills." And this is where NLP can really help....

It can help you setup protection for self. So that you are not judgemental, not angry. So that you have choice as to when you notice these things and when you don't. And the skill building will become easy. Because you already have these skills and the fiters are there only for your protection. And if you find other ways to protect that intention, then you will realize that the filters begin to drop by themselves.


Fourth - Train your intuition. This is what NLP is all about really. So if you have got both the Skill and the Wisdom part of the previous point. Then all it takes is a few repititions and practice. And suddenly, you will realize that you "Just Know" when someone is incongruent or lying. And that's when you know you have learned the skill well enough when you know even before you try! Remember a lot of people have  such so called "intuitions" that are just not right all the time. If you find yourself in that category, Train yourself and you will notice how much the accuracy of your feelings improve. The  most important thing here is to be able to take feedback from the environment using an alternate system and know when you feelings are right and when they are off the mark.


Enjoy Training your Intuitions!




© 2011 Antano Solar John & Harini Ramachandran of School of Excellence. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy