Do you ever just want someone to tell you the truth?
In this video, I give you some tips on how to get someone to divulge information.
When to Use These Tips:
-Or your real estate agent…lawyer…babysitter…car salesman
How to Get Someone to Tell You More:
1. Do Not Fill the Silence
Wait an extra beat after your subject finishes talking to make sure they do not have anything else to add. It is amazing how much liars will divulge in these moments.
2. Invade Their Personal Space
People get a bit rattled when you enter their personal space. Pull a chair closer, or take a step towards them. This makes them feel more transparent and will often encourage them to dig a little deeper.
*This is good if you are trying to get someone to divulge secret information.
3. Nod Your Head
Head nodding is a universal sign of agreement. Research shows that people will talk three to four times more than usual if the listener nods their head as the speaker talks. You can also do this when someone finishes speaking to get them to say more.
-When someone finishes speaking, stroke your chin (the body language for thinking)
-Nod your head three times to get them to keep talking. If they have anything they are holding back, this can unlock their thoughts by making you seem interested and agreeable.
How to Get Someone to Confess:
1. Change the Telling
This is one way to catch liars or get new information:
-Ask someone to draw their story
-Ask them to tell it backwards
-Ask them to start in the middle
2. Tell a Worse Version
Tell the subject a more damning version of what you think happened and see if they try to correct you. If they do, you get a confession. Let’s say you think your teenager took money out of your wallet. Start big by asking them if they took money and a credit card out of your wallet. Often times they will correct you and admit to the smaller crime.
3. Minimize the Significance
This is a classic technique used by TV show cops all the time. Empathize with the person you are speaking with and make the wrongdoing sound like no big deal. Often times the subject will latch on to this lenient line of thinking and either confess or give you a clue as to their thinking.
About Vanessa Van Edwards
Lead Investigator, Science of People
I’ve always wanted to know how people work, and that’s what Science of People is about. What drives our behavior? Why do people act the way they do? And most importantly, can you predict and change behavior to be more successful? I think the answer is yes. More about Vanessa.
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