Ask people if they trust their gut, and most will tell you that they do. Ask people if they are being honest and you’ll likely get an affirmative answer. How does anyone really know for sure?
We are built to perceive and judge. We assess our environment, we listen, we watch. Call it evolution or call it whatever you like, we observe our environment for risk.
We can talk about integrity, trust, or ethics. Much of it comes down to our perception.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
If we listen closely, we hear it all the time:
I’m going to be completely honest…
Being completely honest…
To be honest…
Honestly, I …
I’m not going to lie…
Yet people are choosing to believe or not. They choose to follow and trust their gut.
Their gut or instincts are based on factors of observation.
Is Seeing Believing?
Did they stutter? Are they acting nervous? Was there eye contact? Did their skin tone change? Are they sweating? What was the hand, feet, or body movement?
Not surprising, liars often have similar behaviors to the person who is telling the truth. Both liars and truth tellers may worry about your belief in their communication.
It can be suggested that liars have bad intentions and truthful people have good intentions. We can’t forget the evaluations of the reasoning for honesty.
“Are you planning a party for my birthday?”
“Who ate the last piece of chocolate cake?”
“Who is cooking fish in the microwave?”
We know the difference between truth and lies. We shouldn’t feel guilty or nervous when telling the truth, but we often do.
It is painful to think that we must be better about the way we communicate when we are being honest. It is an unfortunate evolutionary problem. The result of people scanning their environment to assess risk.
We are human. Most of us are not mind minders, fortune tellers, or meteorologists.
Be careful with your gut.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.