|$500 Curling Iron?|
My daughter, Christina and I had an interesting date at our local mall last Saturday.
We went from store to store, window shopping, stopping to allow perfume testers, skin care experts and make up artists practice their craft upon her. We met some interesting people and had a few laughs while we talked 'shop' with the dedicated followers of beauty, commenting on color coordination, skin tone, and the best products available.
Christina is just shy of 14, and an A+ student in a private school. She takes her school work seriously, as well as her hobbies. She loves to read, write, and befriend anyone in need.
She also loves to curl her hair.
We came upon a boutique set up in the mall in which curling irons were being sold. Christina, among other things, loves to catch liars (I know, I know, but she's young, still) and with her love of all things girlie, a boutique selling "very special" curling irons was the ticket.
The salesman was pleasant, but very aggressive. As some of his sentences contained too many words, I cautioned him, politely, that Christina would catch him. He was unflustered by me, and spoke incessantly, as he used the curling iron to make beautiful curls in her very straight hair. He said that the curls would need nothing to stay, unlike other curling irons, and said that they would even hold up under water.
"Here, Dad, let me demonstrate. This is just ordinary tap water. I promise. See?" as he sprayed a bit into my hand. "It is just water, H20, nothing but water, I promise."
Christina knows that anything repeated is important, but when one needs to buttress his own words, it is a signal that he is not truthful.
Indeed, the "promise" of being ordinary tap water was true, I whispered to her, but it signals that other things he was saying was not.
"So, how much for this amazing curling iron?" I asked.
He said, "Hmm! Just a minute. Now, you know that..." and off he went.
"You avoided the question", I said. "Now my daughter knows the question is important."
He pointed to the box where it said, "$500" and turned to me and said, "You are a caring father. For you, this, no this, is just too much. $250!"
I reached for my cell phone to see if it had an app to jump start my heart.
He said, "Oh, no. It is not for sale at amazon."
I had not searched Amazon.
"Now, you know, I am not the owner, but here is the owner, and you want to make sure that these curls stay in so in 30 minutes, well actually, the next 29, if you buy it, for you, and only you, as as a good dad, if you do not tell others, you can have it for $210!"
I said, "You should not have said, "I promise" before."
He said, "But it really is ordinary tap water!"
I said, "yes, but you signaled that you were lying about something else by needing to promise that which I could prove."
He brushed this off and continued to address my daughter directly. With his back turned to me, I touched my nose to signal Christina that he was caught.
We know each other well.
She looked at me as if to say, "Yes, Dad, I caught him too" and with her eyes, she smiled the smile of recognition.
We said we would walk around for the next half hour and let them know.
"27 minutes!" he said.
The same curling iron, in the same packaging is available at Amazon for $39.
(free shipping, too).
When someone says "I promise", it is often that the person is telling the truth and wants to be believed. It is the need, however, to use such emphasis that tells you that other things the person said may not be true, and, in fact, should be questioned.
Listening is a skill, like any other, that can be developed and practiced, over time.
Follow pronouns. Let your ears tingle when you expect to hear "I", yet you hear, "we."
Training investigators can be challenging, but when they are from the private sector, there is often a faster pace to the training. These are often higher educated, higher paid, and more intent on learning, and can make the class dynamics soar with adrenaline.
Yet, there can still be a heavy stop sign.
A few years ago, I was conducting a class that was going well. The body language and responses told me that these investigators were "getting it" and moving along well. There was one, however, who's folded arms suggested otherwise.
She was tense, quiet, but when she did respond, she was intelligent. Yet, there was that disapproving scowl over her face.
Finally, appearing as if she had enough, she spoke up.
"I just can't buy into this Statement Analysis thing. Oh yeah, a lot makes sense, but this one area really bothers me", she said.
"What is that?" I asked.
I had warned them, early on Day One, that they would be tempted to use the sentence, "Statement Analysis does not work because I..."
I told them that in dealing with statistics, if we say something is "80% likely" that they may fall into the 20% category and want to dismiss analysis based upon their own experience in life, in one particular area. I cautioned them to note that pronoun, "I" in their objection.
This investigator, intelligent as she was, could not.
"Well, this whole thing about someone saying, 'I swear to God, I promise, Honest to God, I swear on my mother's grave' is just not true."
"How do you know it is not true?" I asked.
"I know it is not true because my sister and I. We are very close. For more than 30 years we have had this rule since we were kids. If we say 'I swear to God' we are not allowed to lie to each other. When we say "I swear to God', we do not lie to each other. It has been like this for more than 30 years, since we were little."
I stood silently as the class was utterly silent in waiting for my response.
I held my peace.
Slowly, with just one or two at first, signals of recognition came across faces, and then cracks of smiles.
Attendees looked at one another, some seeing the smiles and understanding, while others searching the faces for understanding.
Then the chuckles started, and then...
The now embarrassed investigator still did not understand.
"You just proved Statement Analysis" I said to her.
She was neither amused nor did her face show recognition. Later, I overheard someone explain to her that she just admitted that she and her sister lied to each other with impunity, but when they used the oath, they could not follow their norm of lying.
To this date, I do not know if she ever 'got it' but I have my hopes and my illusions in tact.