“How good of a liar are you?” I was giving a talk last week in front of a group of smart young aspiring entrepreneurs – and we were discussing the pros and cons of opening up to people you don’t really know. I challenged them while asking them to lie. Yes, lie!
While we all lie – from little lies to bigger lies to twists and turns and small distortions which end up making the conventional parts of our lives – we also learn to cut through the BS of small talk, boasting, “politicking” and spin. And in order to know the truth and what’s real you need to experience the lie. The exercise was not a morality test but an experiment in getting out of your comfort zone, listening, being bold, being you while keeping your shyness. It was a debate on the axioms “cash is king” versus “people are kings.” It was all about business – yet the art of business cannot be an art without the people who make art out of their business.
Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception gives her analysis in her TED talk:
“… When you combine the science of recognizing deception with the art of looking, listening, you exempt yourself from collaborating in a lie. You start up that path of being just a little bit more explicit, because you signal to everyone around you, you say, “Hey, my world, our world, it’s going to be an honest one. My world is going to be one where truth is strengthened and falsehood is recognized and marginalized.” And when you do that, the ground around you starts to shift just a little bit…”
So, just learn to shift through the sand – pause and think and never take anything for granted. But don’t neglect to shut out negativity: 100 people could tell you how freaking amazing you look today, but if one person says you look like crap, those 100 positive messages won’t matter. And it’s up to you to figure out those truths that matter and the lies that don’t.