Bosses have a new weapon in the fight against dishonesty in the workplace – ‘human lie detector’ Darren Stanton.
After training as a forensic psychologist with the prison service and working as a Derren Brown style mentalist and ‘magician’, Darren is skilled at reading micro-reactions and physical tells which help him assess whether someone is being honest.
The 37-year-old is being hired on a strictly confidential basis by several of the UK’s leading firms to help assess whether employees are telling the truth when questioned on both interpersonal and professional issues. Darren has been sitting in on sensitive meetings as a silent observer and then giving his analysis to managers afterwards.
The expert in body language and methods of deception claims that after spending only a few moments with an individual he can tell whether or not they are lying. In his stage show – which promises illusions and tricks as opposed to magic – he trusts his ability to read people’s behaviour enough to put himself in physical danger, should his skills fail him.
He’s the real life answer to the lead characters in 2009’s hit US TV shows ‘Lie To Me,’ and ‘The Mentalist,’ who solve crimes through the power of observation.
Darren said: “Most of our communication is non-verbal and subconscious and that’s the inadvertent information I pick up on. We all have certain traits in common when we lie, and physical reactions that are very hard to conceal. When I was in the prison service, I would be routinely lied to by prisoners when I was assessing them. You become adept at spotting the signs. Obviously I’m not a substitute for the usual HR processes but my insight can be useful to managers when deciding whether to escalate an issue with an employee who they feel is being untruthful.”
Among the issues Darren can help resolve are unexplained absenteeism, theft, leaking of sensitive information, fraudulent expense claims, bullying and even secret office romances.
Other companies choose to focus on smaller issues which still impact on efficiency, including how much time employees spend on social networking sites, whether office relationships are affecting productivity and how long they spend making personal calls.
Given some people are flexible with the truth when it comes to their CV, firms have could even call upon Darren to assist them when interviewing candidates. He was initially hired for corporate parties, where his performance included a ‘deceit detection’ section. It gave managers the idea to use him in a formal capacity. Darren’s since gained more work through word of mouth recommendations.
Darren, who is also trained in hypnotism, admits that he had never previously considered working as a ‘corporate psychic’ until invited but is glad he can be of service.
Darren said: “I like to help businesses out. The vast majority of employees are honest and it’s unfair for others to gain an advantage through deception. It’s important to stress that my judgements aren’t the final word about a member of staff though, they’re only part of the picture.”
Darren is available for interview and can give one-on-one demonstrations of his psychological experiments for features.
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