A Lesson on Lie Detection in the Workplace

By on January 29, 2014

Dr. William Morrissette, Department Chair of the Criminal Justice program at Bay State College, will be hosting a speaking engagement/presentation on Lie Detection for Cambridge Associates this Friday, January 31st.

As a former Polygraph Examiner and Counter-Intelligence Interrogator for the CIA Security Division, Dr. Morrissette is often called upon to speak on the topic.  But why are corporations looking into this type of training? According to Dr. Morrissette, there could be multiple reasons.

  1. Lie detection is an area that is very problematic for organizations and not discussed much.  So, for example, a human resource person is expected to assess the credibility of an applicant, but what the organization tends not to consider/discuss is what tools are available and what level of accuracy an HR person can produce. 
  2. The second most prevailing reason for interest in this is bottom line profit making.  Many organizations are selling products, and they need to be able to assess the body language or unspoken cues of potential customers in order to make the best pitch. 
  3. The reality is that most (if not all) organizations find themselves in situations where employees are alleged to have done something wrong and they need to do internal assessments or investigations.  This often fails to rise to the level of law enforcement involvement, so organizations have to do it themselves and this, again, leads to apprehension on the part of the workers where they feel they do not have the necessary skills/tools to be comfortable in their determinations. 

Keep in mind, “lie detection” does not always involve a polygraph machine that tells you whether a person is being truthful or not.  The art of lie detection involves reading people’s reactions and body language, something that Dr. William Morrissette has become an expert in during the span of his career.