Business networking group, JCI Cambridge, this week played host to an interactive workshop on people watching and lie detection skills.
As keen members of JCI we’ve been busy promoting the event over the past few weeks – resulting in a double page centre spread in the Cambridge News on Monday, and a subsequently great turn-out! So, we went along to see how these skills are relevant in business (and how they can make us millions playing poker!)
The workshop, run by Facial Action Coding System (FACS) expert Aaron Garner, gave Cambridge professionals the opportunity to study the subtle signs that indicate a person’s true feelings.
Developed in the 1960’s by Paul Eckman, on whom Tim Roth’s character in US hit series “Lie to Me” is based, FACS attributes codes to the various muscle groups and actions of the face. With 10,000 facial expression combinations possible, FACS gives each its own unique code.
Through group exercises identifying the most commonly used facial expressions, split second muscle movements and by detecting giveaway signs of deceit, attendees learnt how to handle business situations and be more aware of their own responses.
Fascinating stuff. Aaron discussed how the police dissect suspect statements (leaving out the pronoun “I” from a statement can be an indicator of guilt – liars try to distance themselves from the lies they are telling), the problems of analysing psychopaths and identifying tiny physical clues to deception. Interestingly, avoiding eye contact is not one. Liars tend to make a point of looking their “victims” in the eye.
While useful in all aspects of life, businesses especially can benefit from learning to read the clues to deception. From recognising mistruths given by candidates at the recruitment stage to identifying a less than genuine business proposition, this could potentially save vast amounts of money in the long run.
The workshop particularly interested us as FACS is used in marketing. By assessing participants facial expressions when they are shown products, companies can assess the emotional value of a product or brand. Marketing contains a lot of psychology…but that’s for another blog post!
Aaron, a trainer in emotional recognition and a qualified NLP practitioner, runs www.semita-veritas.co.uk which helps businesses improve their communication skills…so we had a chat with him.
“For all people in business, especially management, HR and sales, people watching is a skill with huge benefits”, says Aaron.”By recognising tiny, often subconscious, signals you can improve the outcome of a conversation. You understand what the other person is really thinking and this improves communication results; from sales pitches and managing teams to job interviews”.
The evening was one of many interactive business seminars being run by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Cambridge that Emerald Frog Marketing will be actively promoting.
JCI Cambridge President, Jen Little told us, “We are very honoured to have Aaron deliver a very informative and fun workshop for JCI Cambridge. The evening was a huge success and delivered valuable practical communication skills for within both the workplace and in dialogues with customers”.
Stephen Gray, Private Banking Partner at Clydesdale Bank, which allows the JCI free use of the boardroom at its Cambridge Financial Solutions Centre was also extremely pleased with the success and buzz surrounding the event. Cambridge First newspaper sent a photographer to record the event and have printing an article (written by us) this week.
Stephen said: “As a corporate sponsor of the JCI we were delighted to have been able to provide a suitable venue for its regular training and networking events. The Bank recognises the invaluable role that JCI plays in the personal and professional development of its members and is keen to help support the Cambridge business leaders of the future.”
For more information on JCI Cambridge and to take part in future business workshops and networking opportunities visit www.jcicambridge.com.
And, if you want Emerald Frog Marketing to promote your event, then contact us!