I attended a Loss Prevention Seminar back in 2008. It changed the way I see people and their reactions to stressful situations. Now I pay more attention to their body language and cues they give without even knowing it. Unless they are professional liars, people will likely show signs of deception or simply nervousness almost immediately. You won’t become a human lie detector, but you will pick up on things you probably never would have given a second thought to.
Once during the start of an interview with an employee that was only being questioned about her knowledge of a particular incident in a store, her heart was racing so fast I could see the pulse beating in her throat. I was actually worried about her physical state. It became apparent either she knew a lot about the situation we were there to inquire about, or she was involved in losses of her own. Her autonomic nervous system sold her out. Once we got her to spill the story of the other employee’s involvement in the theft we had come to talk about, she settled down a bit. However, we still went on with the interview to see what she may react to about other issues. We went through the different ways to cause losses to a company: taking cash, taking merchandise, damaging company property, etc. She showed the slightest change in posture when we mentioned merchandise theft so we went back with that direction. She actually did admit to a theft. She said she had brought balloons to the store one day the manager happened to not be on duty, filled them with helium, and left. She said she did it, and then wondered later if it was a violation, but was too nervous to ask for fear she would lose her job over it. She was given a written counseling just to cover our bases, but she was not terminated for her “theft.”
Loss prevention seminars will educate you on that autonomic nervous system. Most people can’t help but want to protect themselves when they are caught. They may cross their arms and/or legs to shield themselves. Some will stretch all the way out, legs straight, to increase their distance from the person questioning them. They do this without ever thinking about it. Increased blood flow will cause sudden and ongoing itching, especially around the face. Some people may begin to redden and begin perspiring. I always clear my desk or area where I’m going to be conducting an interview. It takes away the opportunity for created “jobs.” Some people will move a pencil, or fidget with a stapler if they are allowed access to these items. If you take these away, they will simply have to pick the lint from their clothing instead. Eye contact is a big issue for some interviewers, but you can’t solely rely on that to be a person’s telltale sign of deception. Some people naturally avoid eye contact because they are shy; some cultures are more apt to avoid direct eye contact as well.
If you get the chance to attend a Loss Prevention Seminar, get on the attendee list as fast as you can. Take the time and take lots of notes, and you’ll be glad you went. As a business owner or manager, the invaluable information you will get from one of these will stay with you and help you for years to come.
For more information contact us: LossPreventionSeminar.com or 1.770.426.0547