TOOLS TO GET WHAT YOU WANT - TOOLS OF THE TRADEINTERROGATORS GET A sophisticated set of tools to use when they question prisoners. When asked what interrogation is, Greg often describes it as nothing more than extreme interpersonal skills. This set of tools is finite, and the process of putting them to work is describable. Using them will not catch most people off guard; it will go unnoticed because most people have no knowledge of them.The tools you need fall into five categories:QuestioningPsychological levers or approachesBody language/baseliningProbingActive listeningQuestioningYou might think of questions like a leash on a dog. In some cases, the leash gently links a man and a dog; the leash suggests to the dog where to go. In other cases, it gives the man a way to pull the dog in the direction he wants. In another case, the man who doesn't know what he's doing gets pulled by the dog.We sort questions into specific categories: direct, control, repeat, leading, compound, canned, negative, and vague. At some point, all of them will be useful to you.Good questions are easy to understand and use basic interrogatives: who, what, when, where, why, how, what else—and when all else fails, “huh?” Good questions allow the person to answer in a narrative so you can gather information. When your purpose is to corral a conversation, a leading, vague, or compound question may be of more use. Questions can be used as steering mechanisms to direct your target to a point where you can apply a psychological approach.Direct QuestionsJust ask what you want to know—a good question allows the person to answer in a narrative format. Most questions you ask will be direct. The longer the answer, the more options you have to pick up your next question from the information deposited in the answer. That is, you follow the lead.Control QuestionsControl questions are questions to which you know the answer. In the intelligencebusiness, these questions are used to establish whether or not the person is telling the truth. Asking “Where were you on Tuesday?” if you know the answer alerts you to whether the source will lie to you, or to see what his body language looks like when he responds truthfully. The use of control questions is limitless. A skilled questioner will use them to redirect conversation or apply pressure to the source to create stress and verify veracity.Repeat QuestionsSimply restating or stating the same question in another way is a repeat question. Repeat questions are another way to verify whether the source is lying. If she gives you different answers each time, she is lying. A sophisticated version of this tool slices the question into pieces, which gets at different nuances of the answer, and then consolidates the multiple answers to get the whole picture.Leading QuestionsLeading questions telegraph what you want to hear. To be good at getting people to give you information, you need to spur them into conversation first; leading questions can serve that purpose. Maneuvering someone into a position that allows you to successfully use a psychological lever often requires luring him or her down a conversational path. Leading questions are most beneficial in setting up the follow-up question; they result in a yes or no answer. Many involve the verb to be, as in this leading question posed by Dan Rather to Saddam Hussein: “Mr. President, do you expect to be attacked by an American-led invasion?”12 Unless you are deliberately trying to lead your target, beginning a question with “will you,” “did you,” or “are you” indicates you need to restructure your question. Leading questions have value in establishing control in a conversation because they are structured to help you slip past a logic point that someone might have an issue with.Compound Questions (Horns of Dilemma - unclear questioning)This questioning style interrogators is designed to be confusing. For instance, “Did you go to the store or the bank?” When you ask this, she should answer with one or the other; however, if she is uncertain of what you are asking, she can escape by saying no. Remember, the science of interrogation is about getting the most information in the least amount of time. For our purposes, the compound question can be part of the art of interrogation.You can throw a person off-balance with a compound question. You could ask an employee, for example, “Did you make those cold calls or finish the paperwork on the Smith contract?” That leaves him second-guessing you about which action you consider more important. It could be the first step in getting him to stay late to finish whichever thing he hasn't done yet as he tries to interpret your meaning.Canned QuestionsThis is more a style of preparation than the specific brand of question. Interrogators are often asked to become an expert on a subject in a couple of hours. As a result, interrogators prepare questions ahead of time to give them the right vernacular and the right context. In your world, canned questions can be useful, especially when you confront a person with his own words or navigate a complex social issue.Negative Questions“Do you not like Hillary Clinton?”How does a person answer a question like this? Does the answer carry any real meaning to anyone other than the asker? This is another type of question that interrogators are taught to stay away from because it creates confusion. When you are trying to manipulate someone, however, confusion may be what you are after. Keep this one in your tool kit.Vague QuestionsAny question that does not contain specific information such as names, dates, and circumstances can be considered a vague question. For example, you could ask, “Were you with them?” In terms of plain language, conversation questions such as this are the norm, and they work fine because everyone understands the context. No one is trying to gain the upper hand by being misleading or evasive. In a situation where you want to manipulate someone, however, both agendas may be present. Intentionally or unintentionally, the use of ambiguous pronouns or concepts can lead to a misunderstanding on the part of either party. The person with the question who wants to throw someone off track might jump into the middle of a conversation with new people in the sales department regarding expense accounts with: “Do you take advantage of them?” The receiver might trap himself in front of his boss with a response such as, “I travel so much for this company that I probably have from time to time.” When the questioner replies, “Oh, really? I was making a joke about the new hires,” then no one at the table knows whether the question was poorly phrased and innocent, or subterfuge.Exercise: How the Pros Do ItListen to snippets of interviews on late-night comedy shows and flag the types of questions asked. Categorize the questions, not only for type, but also on the basis of whether the “bad” questions were artfully used.Aside from extracting information about issues, questions can give you insights into the individual. They are also powerful tools for managing conversation. When you move a conversation toward the outcome of uncovering facets of an individual, you can use a range of questioning styles that people in a negotiation, for example, should not use. When you think someone is being deceptive, or you just need bare facts, take the interrogators' path and avoid the questions they avoid—leading, compound, and negative. Interrogators and people who need to keep information pure often sound like machines as they go about extracting information in daily life.Also consider your audience. Is the person you are about to question a clock-driven efficiency expert? Or a big-picture, artsy type for whom details do not matter? Or is she so detail oriented that clocks and the big picture are immaterial? The questions not only have to make sense to you but also to your target if you want a clean and simple answer. Ask the question in a way that she can access the information in the way it was stored and, therefore, respond easily. When you are seeking out information, you should create questions and flow to take into account how your target thinks, but when you want to take her off balance or confuse her, you should alter the style to force her out of her comfort zone.Questioning StrategyUnderstanding how each of the question types fit into an overall plan makes each question you ask a building block for the next.Think before you open your mouth, no matter what style of questioning you decide to use. If you have a lot of questions to ask but your brain hasn't prepared them properly, your strategy will fail; you will not have good flow that your target can follow, and more importantly, you will end up chasing butterflies.You can deliberately use a splatter pattern and ask questions that seem all over the place, but ultimately elicit the information you need. This method is ideal if you are concerned that you will not get straight answers from linear, well-directed questioning that shows your intent.Ask the “next question.” Don't ask, “Are you married?” Ask, “What's your wife's name?” Use common sense, though. You can look like a fool if you ask the wrong next step.Exercise: Why the Pros Do ItTune in again to one of the big interview shows. This time take a big-picture look. Follow the interviewer's questions, and see if you can find the magic behind what he or she is doing. Can you see the intent from the questions being asked? Is there a master plan hidden behind that rambling, or is the interviewer just asking disconnected questions that inquiring minds want to know? If you can spot the agenda, keep that in the back of your head as you go about designing your questioning strategy. Others may be looking for your agenda, too.Questions are tools for driving conversation. As you go about planning your strategy to deal with someone, these tools will become invaluable. Throughout the day, consider how effectively you are questioning. Are the interrogatives your guides, or do you follow every butterfly you see, wondering “Why?” at every juncture like a three-year-old? “Why?” is a good question that is often answered by other interrogatives. Using the word why rarely gets the same defining answer as discerning the why. If you ask the when, what, how, and who questions first, you will get the why.Who was John Brown?When did he live?What did he do?How was he killed?Who was killed with him?Someone who answers these questions will eventually give you the answer to the question “Why was John Brown killed?”Psychological Levers or ApproachesAlthough the US Army refers to them as approaches, think of these techniques as ways to pry into the psyche of a person. That is why the term levers helps anchor the concept. With some basic understanding of any person, you can choose one or more of these approaches to get a desired effect from your target.The styles of exercising psychological leverage over someone might be grouped into two categories: intimidating and persuading. The Army lists at least fourteen different interrogation approaches, but only the ones that are relevant to “normal” personal and professional interactions are broken down here.Intimidating1. Direct. You ask straight questions about what you want to know. This is really not so much of an approach as demand in interrogation terms. It says, “You know who I am, and here is what I want.” The same may hold true to remember that, just like an above-board leader, you may ask for incremental changes without divulging your long-term objective.2. Fear-up. In this context, let's focus only on the level that interrogators call fear-up mild because its companion, fear-up harsh, is never appropriate in daily life. A human resources manager may use fear-up mild with an employee caught in an indiscretion: “Will you come clean with me about this? Or would you rather discuss it with my boss, who has the authority to fire you on the spot?”3. Silence. Imagine a stage onto which your subject has just been dropped; all eyes are on her, and she has no idea what her line is. This is the kind of feeling you can create by simply asking a tough question and providing no assistance in getting an answer.Persuading4. Fear-down. You rush to stop someone's emotional bleeding. You might think, “Well, that's nice. How could that be construed as psychological manipulation?” It is if you intend to gain the person's trust so that you can influence his behavior. This is often used in conjunction with fear-up mild to create a good cop/bad cop approach.5. Incentive. Offer the person something he really, really wants, such as an invitation to play golf in your foursome that includes the company CEO. It could also be something simple like an hour off so he can get to his son's soccer game on time. The more differentiating, the better.6. Emotional. Use strong emotions against the person; for example, if she loves her job more than anything else in the world, then convince her that doing something your way will make her the company hero. The emotional key can also involve the opposite; that is, hatred of something or someone. Play heavily on belonging and differentiation with this one. If she loves something, she will want to nurture and hold onto it; if she hates something, she will want to distance herself from it.7. Pride-and-ego (up or down). You either inflate or deflate a person's ego with this style. We all know the power of a compliment, but a put-down can also be effective with the right person. You don't want to use the negative approach with an insecure, inept person to get him on your side. He probably already knows that he's working with deficits, so this will alienate him. The intent is that when you make someone feel special, he wants to earn the compliment. When you make someone feel inadequate, he wants to prove you wrong. Mastery of these two approaches is key to fracturing and bonding.8. We know all. When you do the right homework before meeting with a person, you can give the impression that you know much more than you do. For example, with tools such as Google Earth, you know details about someone's neighborhood. That kind of knowledge can position you as either someone with whom they can bond because you're on top of things, or someone to fear.9. Futility. Preying on a person's doubts, cultivating more doubts, and then moving in for the “kill” are the hallmarks of this approach. In daily life, this one preys well on the fact that, while we love underdogs, no one likes to be on the losing team.10. Repetition. You ask the same thing over and over. You can do it by repeating the same question exactly, or by introducing new words that circle around the same idea. One question that lends itself to this kind of psychological bruising is, “What do you think we can do to improve sales?” In a business or personal setting, this repetition likely occurs through time, not in the form of back-to-back questions to a mind-numbingly, incessant beat as it would be done in an interrogation.Each of these levers, or a combination of these levers, is a valuable tool when targeted to the individual. What you need to do now is understand the concepts of the tools, so that we have a common language to use in the application of levers to individuals. By using the right questions, you can set up opportunities to apply each of these levers to get the opening you want. So how do you know it is working? Look at the person to whom you are talking and try to notice changes in response, both intentional and unintentional. That will give you clues to understand just how far to push or when to back off.Body Language/BaseliningA fundamental skill you will need in order to use all the tools in this book effectively is baselining. Baselining means determining how a person behaves and speaks under normal circumstances. Only when you understand what is normal for your target can you spot a change.What's normal? In a situation with little or no stress present, people will use the vocal tone and cadence, word choices, and movements that are normal for them. That doesn't mean what you consider normal, or what you think should be normal, but what is normal for them. Greg can say things such as, “That's the worst example of butt snorkeling I've seen this year,” and people in a meeting won't think that's odd. They'll think, “That's Hartley.” If Maryann said that, people would think she was (a) drunk, (b) imitating Greg, or (c) extremely nervous. Step one in baselining, therefore, is to engage a person in an environment, and in a topic, that keeps the exchange relaxed or at least makes few demands emotionally and intellectually. Use non-threatening questions that start the conversation on a relaxed note.When your baseline, it's a deliberate action. You set up a situation in which you converse and move with intent. As a result, you gain significant knowledge about a person's behavior, speech patterns, body language, and energy level. This baseline gives you a template for using the other tools in the interrogator's tool box. When you see change, you know the other tools are working. By learning to the baseline you add to your skillset and compound the effectiveness of the other tools.VOICETo baseline the voice, listen for tone, pitch, cadence, word choice, and use of filler sounds such as um and ah, or filler words such as like, basically, or any other meaningless placeholder.Tone. If your mother said, “Please go outside” to you as a child, her tone of voice told you everything you needed to know. With a calm, quiet demeanor, it could be an invitation to see a new puppy. But with a clipped, harsh tone, it could suggest a strong, sarcastic warning not to touch the door handle. Tone is about lilt of voice and stress on words. Tone indicates the meaning of words, regardless of which words were spoken. If you have a pet, tell your pet in happy tones, “I am so mad at you, I'm going to give you away to a stranger.” What's his response? The tone makes it all sound like, “I love you, Fluffy.” We have all heard this admonition from a parent or partner: it is not what you said, it is how you said it.Cadence. The rate at which someone speaks correlates to what's going on in his head. Determine his normal pace and listen for change. A New Jersey native in Georgia stands out, as does a Georgia native in New Jersey. Once you establish his norm, deviations indicate something has changed in his head.Pitch. Agitation, passion for a topic, and uncertainty all cause the pitch to rise. Again, this is a common response to such emotions, but the point is that you become aware of the shift. John Lovitz practically founded a career on this pitch swing in the 1980s as Saturday Night Live's “lying guy.”Word choice. Look for changes in pattern. Most people (especially those without writers) consistently use the same words or word styles. Few people dramatically alter word patterns without a change in the thought process. Using simple words is typically a choice for clear communication, so when you see the pattern shift to a few Oxford nuggets in an unnatural way, or move quickly from the use of rich vocabulary to “shucks” and “golly,” these are indicators of stress. As baseball star Roger Clemens testified before Congress about steroid use, you could hear him trying to navigate the minefield of liability as he answered representatives' questions. The result was a mangled English response with tense pronoun shift and a barely comprehensible message. All are signs of high stress.Exercise: Just ListenClose your eyes for a moment. Do not try to predict what your target's body language means. You want to do this so you get audio only and eliminate the distraction of the person to whom you're listening.Tune into interviews on NPR such as Terry Gross's Fresh Air. Listen to a couple of celebrities talk during interviews that seem low-key and friendly. Characterize their vocal patterns in that relatively relaxed state. Contrast that pattern with the sound of their voices when they are agitated or acting agitated. Note the effect that stress has on their voices.Some of the other vocal cues you should heed in base-lining involve enunciation, elaboration, and trailing.If you remember how your mom enunciated every word when she chastised you for not doing your homework, you have an idea of how stress can affect that vocal pattern. The opposite can be true, too, so you can find a person deviating from his baseline by mumbling. Enunciation can also relate to accents. President George W. Bush's speech was always accented, with the pronunciations of words dripping with Texas twang. It's that way whether or not he seemed stressed, which is not the case for some people, who will either revert to a heavier accent or move away from it when they feel stressed. Regarding elaboration, consider why a person who typically rambles on with details would suddenly give clipped responses. Or why would a person who seems to use words surgically suddenly turn into a rambler. Finally, some people trail their sentences as a matter of course, but others only do it when they don't want you to hear what they're saying. Whatever the cause, something is different from the baseline.Eyes Are Windows to the SoulIf words and speech patterns can suggest what someone is thinking, then eyes can tell you where they are going inside their heads to retrieve the words.Baselining movement means paying attention to gestures and twitches from head to toe, but it also involves taking note of where the eyes go in response to certain kinds of questions. When humans think, our eyes move around. Most Americans think breaking eye contact is a sign of deception, but it is a sign that you have asked a good question that requires thought. In other words, eye movement can signal that someone is accessing a particular portion of her brain. With a few easy steps, you can discern which portion.The structure of the brain may be an indicator as to why these patterns of eye movement occur. The visual cortex is toward the back of the head, so typically people will look up high past the brow ridge and to one side or the other when accessing visual cues. The processors for sound are over the ears, so most people will look only slightly up and to one side for auditory cues, usually between the brow ridge and cheekbone. Emotion and calculation are special cases that we'll examine after the basic discussion.Questioning to Baseline Eye MovementPay attention to your own eyes as you answer this next question: What were the last words you heard on the phone?As you answer, you will likely finCheck:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gunxPzU30bEFSV_x1-vJnq8jAHnRGVaQ/view?usp=sharingAlso:https://www.ba-bamail.com/content.aspx?emailid=28923When determining what a person's eye movement pattern for truth is versus the pattern for imagination, you would baseline by starting with a question to which you know the answer. For example, what is the fifth word of the Beatles' song “Hey Jude.” The four steps to the baselining process are simple:1. Ask good, solid control questions that elicit a narrative memory response. This means you should ask the person a question to which you know the answer. Ask a question that will require some thought, but not something that's common knowledge (because no thought will go into the answer).2. Ask questions that isolate a single sense. Because the brain isolates processors for the senses, you can ask questions that cause the person to access each individual sense memory independent of the other. Questions about song lyrics make a good basis for exercising auditory recall. Things such as driving directions to a landmark or descriptions of people you both know are good visual questions. This need not be contrived. Say something such as, “A person I work with asked me how I would describe Bob physically [note: you need to pick an ordinary looking person for this], and I had a hard time with it. What would you say?” This gives a challenge and allows the person to show you their capabilities.3. Steer away from emotional issues when baselining visual and auditory. Stay away from questions that evoke anger, passion, or a recollection of trauma. For instance, if you ask about a recently deceased parent of a divorced spouse you will likely get mixed signals.4. Observe and make note of where his eyes go to access memory. Once you get baseline auditory memory and visual memory, you will find the creative side, where imagination flavors the output, in the same place, but the opposite direction.Our observations through the years have convinced us that most people will look to their left for memory and to their right for construct. That means with good, solid control questions such as, “What is the fifth word of your national anthem?” most people will look slightly up (between cheek and brow) and to their left. Once you get this, you know the auditory construct accessing cue will be slightly up and to the right. If they access auditory memory on the left, they will also access visual memory on the left. The reliability of your results relies solely on using good questioning, and then mapping responses. Memory right, or memory left—that's all it is.Exercise: Watch the EyesPractice the technique of baselining eye movement with friends and strangers. Casually insert the kinds of questions that stimulate visual and auditory recall, as well as visual and auditory creativity.Here are some sample questions to get you started:What does your bathroom wallpaper look like? (visual memory)What is the tenth word of “Hey Jude”? (auditory memory)What do you think the surface of Saturn looks like? (visual construct)What sound does a giraffe make when it's mating? (auditory construct)The two special accessing cues are emotion and calculation. Emotion is down and to the person's right. Calculation is down and to the person's left. You can use this knowledge to create a baseline. Knowing this will give you an edge when you use the tools of interrogation because you'll be able to spot “creative” answers to questions that should be factual. Just having that information, and not necessarily even calling someone on it, gives you the upper hand in any kind of exchange.Observe what other facial signs are normal for your subject. Maryann knows someone who has a periodic eye twitch associated with nerve damage. That's normal for her, rather than a sign of stress. How a person smiles is part of the baseline, too. A normal smile for some people might be a crooked half-smile,https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-smiles#social-functionThe Body Speaks the Mind's ThoughtsRead body language to measure how successful you have been using the psychological keys and questioning. Use body language to amplify your success. This section focuses on the former to prepare you for applying your knowledge of body language in a proactive way.By reading snapshots of key body language from forehead to toe, you will get a sense of the pieces and parts that make up expressions of suspicion, resistance, acceptance, and other emotions relevant to getting people to do what you want. You need to know, for example, when someone is subconsciously signaling that what you are doing has caused her pain; you will have to back off before you can regain leverage with her. Critical factors that shape expressions of emotion are energy and focus.In order to read body language accurately you have to know how and when to pull yourself out of the equation. Reading body language involves a paradox when you are interacting with someone: It's all about you and never about you. It's all about you because you provoked a response and need to understand it in order to continue the process of bonding or fracturing. It's never about you because you cannot project what a person's gestures, posture, and vocal characteristics mean based on how you express certain emotions. Remember to baseline. You always have to keep in mind the unique ways other people, and you, use the body to communicate. Sometimes a scratch just means there's an itch; other times, you're the figurative itch.The exception is certain involuntary and universal movements, which convey consistent messages. One that you probably see every day is the eyebrow flash signaling, “I know you!” or, “I've heard that before.” Greg saw prisoners of war who denied knowing each other do a quick raise of the brows upon seeing each other unexpectedly, and it became such a reliable and consistent piece of body language that he codified the meaning as a sign of recognition. And we have all seen this on the street, in stores, and in meetings, but it is so instinctive, we generally don't notice it. Knowledge of this momentary raising of the eyebrows gives you a distinct advantage when you assess which people and ideas someone instantly bonds with.The Big FourYour starting point for reading body language is the four basic categories of moves: illustrators, regulators, adaptors, and barriers.IllustratorsBody language helps your mouth say what you mean. From punching the air when your team scores a touchdown to motioning with your hand and arm how steps wind around in a circular staircase, there are innumerable ways you use illustrators.Maryann spent Super Bowl XLII with a born-and-bred New Yorker whose arms, legs, and voice illustrated exactly how he felt about the Giants' performance. As you go through the other categories of gestures in this section, keep in mind that he didn't show any of them except illustrators: every moveExercise: Illustrate Your FeelingsAsk someone you trust to observe you in conversation. Give that person permission to do it without warning, and then listen to what that person says about the way you move when you are making a point. If you get to a spot where they notice a deviation in the way your words and physical punctuation mesh, think back to what caused it. Was your mind in one place and your mouth in another?RegulatorsYou can overtly regulate conversation, as many parents do, by putting a finger to your lips and doing a zip-the-lips motion, or moving your arm in a big circle to indicate “speed it up.” You may also use regulators more subtly by pursing your lips when you would like someone to stop talking or nodding vigorously as a way of encouraging the person's words to come out faster.AdaptorsAdaptors are ways to release nervous energy, but there are too many to list even in an encyclopedia of body language. Many of the ways people use the body to ease discomfort are idiosyncratic, but common adaptors include vigorous rubbing moves by men—hands, arms, legs, neck—and petting moves by women, a softer version of the rubbing gestures that men use. Other adaptors can be picking at cuticles, foot tapping, and nervous shuffling. When you see moves such as these, you know that the person is unconsciously taking action to adapt to his environment. As you learn more about using body language, you'll know if seeing adaptors means you are getting the reaction you want, or pushing the wrong buttons.Exercise: Sit Still for a ChangeMost people have limited awareness of the idiosyncratic things they do to ease discomfort in a new situation. The next time you are in a meeting or at a social gathering with new people, pay attention to what your body wants to do—rubbing, shuffling, moving of pencils or forks, or whatever your impulse is at the moment. This time, don't do it. Do you find the impulse leaking out in another way such as some kind of fidgeting, or are you sitting there, perfectly still, thinking that you might explode?BarriersThe requirement for personal space depends on circumstances, as well as the people around you. In some cases, space is not enough; you need a barrier. Putting an arm, computer bag, newspaper, desk, or anything else between you and another person constitutes a barrier. A barrier is never a sign of acceptance, although when your target puts up a barrier, that's not necessarily a bad thing. You have created an opportunity. It could mean that you hit a sore spot, and once you back off and the barrier goes down, you can effectively use a pressure-release tactic to get what you want. This is similar to the good cop/bad cop approach.Exercise: My Beer Glass, My FriendGo to a public place, like a party or a bar, where you can watch spontaneous social interaction. Watch how people guard their space even though they are involved in intense conversations, as well as how some people lay down the barriers and invite people in—even strangers. Are you starting to see how some people express the desire for connection cautiously, whereas others could not be more obvious?Face and MoodYou can broadcast disbelief, confusion, surprise, anger, and a host of other emotions just by moving your eyebrows—unless you've had Botox injections. As we go through brief descriptions of the movements, look in the mirror and see the range of states you can capture by moving nothing more than your brows.Wrinkled brow. People commonly wrinkle their brows in thought. Add a little eye movement, and different emotions surface. A wrinkled brow with eyes sharply focused on a person looks more like outrage or utter disbelief. A wrinkled brow with eyes to the side is one way of saying, “You can't mean that.”Knit brow. Anger, concern, and fear are just three of the emotions that come through with a knit brow. Again, a slight shift in where the eyes are focused, along with a tilt of the head, can make all the difference. Here's another factor that interrogators see a lot: If the person has enough emotion to be in fight-or-flight mode, the pupils will dilate to take in more information about the imminent threat or target. This is an involuntary response that animals have to the approach of a predator. Combine a wrinkled or knit brow with a drawn mouth, or the corners of the mouth pulled downward, and you have drawn some serious disbelief or even disgust.Arched eyebrow. From Star Trek's Mr. Spock to your second-grade.teacher, people can project very different meanings with an arched eyebrow. Spock frequently accompanied his look with the word interesting. It's more likely your second-grade teacher did it in combination with a jaundiced eye and slight smirk to indicate that she really did not believe your hamster ate your homework.Two arched eyebrows. Here's a gesture you have seen thousands of times on every kind of person, from the new hire giving a presentation to the president of the United States giving the State of the Union Address. Lifting and holding both eyebrows is another involuntary and universal piece of body language. Greg began calling it request for approval in his interrogation days; it is an eyebrow raise that signals uncertainty. It is often accompanied by an auditory clue as well: The person makes a statement that sounds a lot like a question. Whether or not they actually ask, “You believe me, right?” that is the implication. The important thing to note about the request for approval is that the person is asking how you perceive what he is saying. The raising of the eyebrows with a slight pause that captures the look of request for approval is an eternity in terms of facial expressions, which are generally fleeting.This brings us to a few indicators that are the opposite of request for approval—both involuntary and universal. These are examples of deliberate and/or culturally specific types of facial body language that involve the mouth:Smile. A genuine smile engages the muscles of the temple. As people age, it's easy to tell how much authentic expression of joy they've experienced, unless they've had the help of plastic surgery or some excellent eye cream. In contrast, a “professional” smile involves only the lower part of the face; it looks insincere. The person has a grin, but conveys no happiness. In the United States, a smile is a tool to project openness, pleasantness, sexiness, and a lot of other “-nesses.” In other words, it's expected on certain occasions; the smile is a planned and calculated event. When you see that smile, you know it is not part of the body language of acceptance. Be cautious: The person may still try to figure out whether or not you're okay, there may be real disdain for you, or perhaps she thinks she can manipulate you by appearing to be friendly. Chimps smile out of fear—and we are related to them.Exercise: Smile for the CameraThis is a two-part exercise. First, go to a newsstand and look at the covers of magazines, especially the ones inhabited by celebrities. How many of them have a smile that engages the temples, that is, a smile that puts lines around the eyes? What feeling do you get from seeing those few who do versus those who smile for the camera, but not the public?For the second part of the exercise, watch some interview shows on TV or the Internet. Pay attention to how a celebrity warms up to the interview and goes from a professional smile to a genuine smile. That's the magic of a good interviewer—to be able to arouse the humanity of the famous person so you feel the authenticity. What happens if your celebrity never gets to that point?Smirk. A closed mouth drawn straight to the side or down at the corner conveys disgust, particularly when combined with a wrinkled brow. In concert with an arched brow, as we saw previously in relation to the schoolteacher, you have a credibility problem. Mix it up with eyes tightly closed and you see a look of pain. In short, a smirk is a deliberate centerpiece of several emotional expressions. What do these all have in common? They are negative. The closed mouth serves as a barrier, while the rest of the face explains something about the barrier that is there.Lips parted. Fashion magazines have pages of female models with their mouths slightly open to project a sexy vulnerability. That's the mouth-breather pose done deliberately, with the cultural connotation that the woman “knows how to please.” First Lady Melania Trump, a former supermodel, is well known for adopting this look. Countless articles confirm that she does it because the so-called fish gape is a camera-friendly pose; her doing it has “legitimized” the look for women who consider her attractive. Done without intent, the look still carries a cultural meaning, but it's as negative as the deliberate version is positive. The person with the mouth unintentionally hanging open appears not to know anything; it is the look of overwhelming stupidity.Exercise: Name That EmotionAs you watch a sitcom or soap opera with the sound off, name the emotion that the actor is trying to project. We recommend these types of shows because of the exaggerated emotions and situations that are often present. They give actors a chance to overact, so their facial expressions are more like those of a live theater actor projecting to a person twenty-five rows away from the stage.Body and MoodYou may think you pegged the emotion of the person based on facial expressions, but then you see arms or posture that seem to project something different. Here are a few common gestures that are either misinterpreted often, or not understood for what they really mean:Crossed arms. In presentations to body language students, as well as mixed audiences in all kinds of venues, this is the gesture that people get wrong. They generally assume that crossed arms are a barrier; the person doing it is closed to you. Sometimes, that's true. But if you see a receptive face and hear openness in the conversation, consider other reasons why someone might have crossed arms, such as:They are cold.They are hiding hands that are not well-groomed.They are overweight or pregnant and using the gesture to hide their middle.They are disguising very long arms or very short arms.They are asserting a dominant position.It is a habit.Treat every piece of body language as a part of speech. Keep in mind that you probably wouldn't understand the complete meaning of a sentence if all you saw were the verbs.Legs crossed in a figure 4. Greg had a journalist from Der Spiegel accuse him of arrogance solely because he tends to sit like this, rather than crossing his legs like a proper European gentleman. His legs do not contort into the latter position. Her judgment was projecting, which is something you always have to curtail when reading body language.Hands clasped in front of genitals. Also known as the fig-leaf posture, we might call it “protecting the precious.” Men of all cultures do it when they feel the least bit threatened. Is it possible that they do it when they do not feel threatened? Sure, but consider that there are many degrees of threat—some of them overt and physical, and some of them subtle and psychological. Women do a similar thing when they are stressed by crossing over the abdomen and protecting the area where reproductive organs are located.Hands on hips. This is often a sign of defiance, but pay attention to determine where the fingers are pointed to be sure. A man with hands on hips and hands pointed toward his crotch has struck a defiant posture. His face and voice may be all smiles and deference, but this posture, especially when combined with a wide stance, means he is feeling bold. For a woman, the comparable posture is hands facing back toward the butt cheeks. When a woman faces her hands forward, it might still be a defiant gesture, but when a man faces his hands backward in Western culture, it could be seen as a more feminine gesture in Western culture.In all these cases, do not underestimate the force of habit and cultural differences when it comes to body language. Many of us fall into the habit of using gestures that we saw our parents use in certain circumstances and venues. The stronger the role model, the stronger the residual behavior.Strong MessagesThere are times when the signs point to an extreme: either you have won the person over, or you have failed miserably. It is just as useful to know when the person is either sitting on the fence or good at hiding his true feelings.You WinIn most cases, a genuine smile with the muscles around the eyes engaged indicates that you have gotten through to someone. The person's focus is on you. You notice open and fluid illustrators, with hands and arms indicating receptivity. You may even notice mirroring of your illustrators, which shows that the person feels in sync with your ideas. At the same time you see these positive responses, you also see signs of nervousness (that is, adaptors), and feel affirmed that you are engaging the person while you have likely established yourself as supertypical in relation to him. Watch for nodding and other regulators that convey the message, “Yes, keep talking” as further confirmation that you're winning him over.You LoseYou are looking for the opposite of the “you win” body language: movements that are closed, jerky, bored, and hateful. With someone energized in the wrong direction, you may see the artificial smile, the obvious use of adaptors that suggest impatience—pen tapping, finger rubbing—and gestures that say, “back off” and/or “shut up.” Or you might have pushed your target so hard that you see the signs of abject intimidation: fig leaf, drooping head, and excessive use of self-punishing adaptors, such as cuticle picking. If you have aroused someone to the point at which they attempt to get rid of you quickly, you may suddenly see barriers such as crossed arms and legs, or the placement of books or a huge vase of flowers between you.With the latter type, you see raised brows and hear utterances that indicate questions. They make attempts toward openness. With the former, you get more circumspect behavior. They might ask you a lot of questions and try to exercise control over where you meet and what time you break for lunch—all the while projecting openness and receptivity. If you are in a situation that has multiple options for her to join sides, look for signs that she is vacillating between you and others. These would include divided attention: focusing on one and then the other, sending a hidden signal to each of you, or fleeting smiles at either or both that she quickly contains while watching you from the corners of her eyes. In some cases, this is calculating; in others, it is unintentional as her squirrel-in-the-road brain searches for equilibrium.Undecided . . . or Hit by the Tarantallegra SpellSome people dodge and weave so ably that you have a hard time figuring out if they have normal, predictable responses to anything. Some people dodge and weave because they have a hard time deciding which direction to go. Their behavior is a mild version of Harry Potter's Tarantallegra spell, which causes uncontrollable dancing. When a person is uncertain, the body and brain struggle for control because of fight or flight and the result can appear as a dodgy glitch version of their normal behavior.Establishing a baseline for the rest of the body can be through simple observation of how the person moves, or you can make an exercise out of it, just as you did with eye movement. It's good to start with the exercise so you get some practice in watching with intent.Exercise: Observe MovementHave your subject sit comfortably, but in a position that allows movement. In other words, a cushy couch is not the ideal place. Ask questions that move from casual to personal to prying. As questions grow more and more invasive, you should notice body changes. Here are sample questions, which obviously should be recontoured depending on the person to whom you're talking:Where did you go to elementary school?What kind of fun things did you do at recess?Did you ever fight with the kids in your class?Did your teachers ever get down on you for something that wasn't your fault?What was the worst thing any of the kids ever did to you?At some point, you must have done something hurtful to them, too. What did you do?Have you done anything similar as an adult that made you feel disgusted with yourself?You can take a different approach to get the same kind of result. In this case, push for more and more details until the person runs out of information. At that point, the emotions and the stress will surface.What's the most exciting thing you've ever done?“Skydive.”Why was it so thrilling?“I didn't think I could do it, but as soon as I did it, I wanted to do it again.”Did you have to take a course before you jumped?“We were in a classroom for about two hours and then we got about two hours of practical training. Our instructors were really safety conscious.”The questions can escalate to a level of such complexity that only a pro or someone with a great deal of experience could answer them. When your subject reaches the point of “I don't know,” or “I don't remember,” and you keep asking questions, she'll probably start to feel inadequate and might make excuses for not knowing. As the uncertainty sets in, watch for sudden changes in body position and for movement in the arms and legs that suggest some emotion is leaking out.ProbingHere are a few more techniques that allow you to get information without clearly asking for it. Keep in mind that they are overtly manipulative and should be used cautiously. As you use these techniques, remember the exercise on determining what someone's strategy is.Repeat what people say. By simply repeating what someone says, you can often get him to elaborate on its meaning, and maybe even drive him to admit that what he said is not quite true. For instance:“I saw eighty elk on the road today!”“Wow, eighty elk?!”“Well, maybe fifty. I did not have time to count. The road was chaos. But it was the most I have ever seen. There must have been a forest fire!”By repeating his original statement, he reveals an inclination toward hyperbole, at least in one admission. At the very least, he divulges information you can use to continue to the next step. A related application is using his words to anchor a point you want to revisit. Rhetorically stating, “Wow! Eighty elk!” gives you a placeholder (or anchor) for later. It shows you made note.I'll show you mine if you show me yours. This is an age-old spy trick. Volunteering a piece of information that seems private or confidential often begets a response in kind. (Of course, you never give up anything of value.)Parallel questioning. We did not put this category in the questioning section because it relies on multiple styles of questions to take someone down a parallel path to disguise your main point. Let's say you want to find out who dominated at a recent meeting of department heads because you have a vested interest in the technology group prevailing. The colleague you've cornered at the coffee machine would be happier if marketing had its way, so you don't want to reveal your interests to her.“That meeting room was packed with chairs. Did everyone bring a date or something?”“They invited some management consultants to make a presentation about how to improve operations.”Eventually, the conversation yields what the consultants recommended, so the parallel lines converge.Active ListeningActive listening means you hear, not only what people say, but also what they are not saying. You can use it to uncover facets of people that would not surface if you took their conversations literally. It's a matter of using auditory and physical cues to hear and see where the passion lies. Without active listening, you might as well just read the transcript of a conversation and try to get the meaning from there.People with whom we've worked have asked us how we knew something that wasn't stated obviously, maybe some piece of information from a person or clue about his character. We use active listening to hear implied messages. Active listening can enable you to hear the words that were not said, the way you can see the silhouette of a familiar face and know exactly what features would be there in a room with bright light.Active listening has another huge benefit: It forces you to pay close attention to what another person says and what you are really saying. If you're a salesperson, it might even help to dump that habit of using the customer's name over and over again. Remember that line they gave you in sales training about the most musical sound to a man or woman is the sound of his or her name? Garbage. The music is the sound of his or her own voice—so listen to it.Most people like to talk, as long as they don't feel they are hogging the conversation. A healthy exchange is the way to get someone to divulge how he sees himself as special, or differentiated, or how he wants to be seen as special.CluesVerbal tip-offs that you need to pay attention to as part of active listening include:Making odd word choices. Incongruous choices and push-pull words are two that should set off your radar. An incongruous choice would be anything out of place for the person, such as a laid-back guy suddenly spicing his sentence with harsh criticisms of some politician that he saw on TV. Interrogators use the term push-pull word to describe a word that no one says without a reason; for example, he makes an honest living. That should be a given. It's akin to Julianne Moore saying, “I'm a real redhead.” In that sentence, honest becomes a point of negotiation. It raises questions about what you consider honest, whether you know someone who makes a dishonest living and you want to draw a contrast, or the possibility that maybe this person who makes an honest living now didn't always. You could put a lot of common expressions into this bucket because they undermine the credibility of the person: She literally saved my life. This product is very unique. Seriously, I don't know anyone better suited for this jobEmphasizing certain words. Whether the emphasis occurs in the right places or the wrong places, it tells you something about how vested the person is in the topic, and it could point to stress about the issue being discussed. Put emphasis on the italicized words in the previous paragraph and you get the sense the person is enthusiastically overcompensating. But put just as much emphasis on every word in the sentence, and you'll come up with someone who sounds desperate, angry, or some other extreme emotion. In all cases, that points to stress.Glossing over a topic. Sidestepping a topic or smoothly sliding around the meaning of a question to move on to a more comfortable subject indicate the person wants to hide information. How many times have you seen a politician or other celebrity embroiled in a scandal respond obliquely in an interview? “Good question, Mike! I have a story that will illustrate where I am on that topic.” This statement is followed by a journey down the rabbit hole.Bridging a timeline. Making a timeline leap while telling a story or answering a question alerts an active listener that you have some reason to be uncomfortable with the topic. It's a perfect setup for a lie of omission. “Sorry I'm late. I met with the client all morning and then came straight here for the meeting” might raise eyebrows if the client's office is two blocks away and the meeting he's late for is at 3 p.m.Switching to passive voice. This is a great way for someone to put distance between herself and a topic; there could be lots of reasons for doing this. One might be fear of punishment, like the little kid who says, “The Richardsons had their window broken while we were playing ball.” Translation: “Someone hit a ball through the window, but I'm not telling you who did it.” It could also be a way of muting the pain that an active retelling of an event would bring: “My brother was murdered.” The passive way of presenting the information softens the statement and avoids sharing a stark description of a brutal killing.Shifting cadence. When people get excited, they tend to speed up a bit. Shifts in cadence can suggest a lot of the other conditions, too. Maybe the person has some uncertainty about the subject matter, forgot exactly what he was going to say or couldn't find the right word, or really wants the subject to go away.Interpreting these clues will be a lot easier when you combine your auditory perceptions, knowledge of body language, and facts about a person you can extrapolate through reliance on what interrogators call guilty knowledge.Guilty KnowledgeIn addition to the clues that provide insights into the person's state of mind regarding a topic or situation, you also need to apply skills to detect guilty.knowledge. The phrase makes sense in the context of a criminal investigation, in which a suspect might describe elements of a crime scene in ways that only the perpetrator would know. For our purposes, a more generic term might be private knowledge.”While at a bar in Atlanta, Greg once overheard a woman ask a man who was flirting with her to “Say again.” That's a military way of saying, “Repeat.” After that, it was comfortable for Greg to approach her and say, “How long were you in the military?” Once something becomes a pattern in your subculture, and you find yourself in conversation with people outside it, you give guilty knowledge of being part of that subculture.While filming Guantanamo Guidebook for Channel 4 in England, in the course of the simulation, Greg ordered a “guard” to get the prisoners out of their stalls. The guilty knowledge in that would be obvious to a small group of people. Interrogators might pick up on the fact that he did not say cages, which is the term used for the prisoners' cells. Horse people would pick up on the fact that he used a term with which they are familiar. An interrogator with any experience in the horse world would know immediately that Hartley is a horse man.Now that you have some knowledge of active listening with your ears, let's do it with the body. Once you get what people are saying or are not saying on an auditory level, you can draw some firm conclusions about them when you observe.Mannerisms, posture, energy, focus, the way people sit or stand, and so many other pieces of body language come into play as well. Remember the Big Four and how they signal emotions: illustrators, regulators, adaptors, and barriers. Illustrators punctuate thought, for example, but what about giving away guilty knowledge? Within minutes of meeting a senior executive of a company Greg worked for, he said, “How much martial arts training have you had?” Raising his eyebrows, he referenced his black belts and wondered how Greg knew. His physique signaled fitness, but the conclusive evidence was that he stood squared off with Greg as opposed to standing oblique, which is the posture most men adopt unless they're being confrontational.Just like oddities in speech pattern, oddities in body language or positioning indicate guilty knowledge and past experience. Stay aware so you see the indications of how someone is different relative to you and others in the group. When you see this difference, drill down, and keep in mind that these are double-edged tools. Just as others leak, so do you. Pay attention, and take note of your own guilty knowledge.