How to spot a Liar

Each year Sydney has a Writers’ Festival and this years theme was Lie to Me. I attended last Friday and one of the one-hour sessions was How to spot a Liar.

There were three panel participants: Calum Smith (Forensic Psychiatrist for the NSW prison system), Kate McClymont (a NSW journalist famous for exposing Eddie Obeid), Mathew Condon (a very experienced Queensland criminal journalist and author). The session was chaired by former Chaser performer, Chris Taylor.

All three began by describing an incident where they had been completely taken in by a consummate liar and only realised the extent of the lies by doing fact checking later on.

Kate McClymont probably had the best line of the day when she related advice given to her by a former editor: “Never forget one thing about politicians; they lie, they lie, they lie.”

Calum Smith demonstrated his post-Freudian upbringing when he said consummate liars had either failed to develop a superego or it had become weaker in their personality. Superego is defined as that part of a person’s mind that acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards learned from parents and teachers.

I must confess I was stunned that not once during the hour did the term “corporate psychopath” get used. And I totally agreed with the final question from the audience which was that no-one on the panel had answered the question of session, namely how do you spot a liar?

I do agree with Calum Smith. People with a low superego or in 7MTF/Humm terms a low Regulator/Normal are more likely to lie. These people have a limited moral compass. The only compensating factor is that as the person matures the Regulator/Normal does become stronger. Children are more likely to lie then adults.

However it is the corporate psychopaths or in 7MTF/Humm nomenclature, the GoGetter/Hustler who take liberties with the truth. I have written extensively about these people and in particular this blogHow to really spot a corporate psychopath” answers the question posed in the session.

If you would like a 40 minute introduction to the GoGetter/Hustler component listen to this webinar. It could be one of the more useful lessons in your life.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn on 6 May 2019


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