What Polygraphs Know About Professional Communication Skills [Video]

Posted by Bridget Beirne
April 22, 2014

Obviously, we all want to be perceived as truthful when it comes to our professional communication skills. We want our listeners to find us credible, our information reliable, our conduct ethical. Our relationship building skills also require a sense of honesty and trustworthiness. It's incredibly hard to build a relationship, whether business or personal, with a person we don't trust.


Polygraphs have been a part of crime dramas for years. Reality stars and talk show participants have taken up the "Give me a polygraph!" cry to "prove" they are telling the truth. The issue with polygraph tests is that they measure, as pointed out in this great video from BrainStuff, the symptoms of lying. Unfortunately, those symptoms are also present when someone is simply nervous or anxious. The most honest of people may read as untruthful due to nerves- the opposite is also true.(Hence the idea of "beating the polygraph"- a guilty person who has control over those bodily repsonses that might indicate lying.)

It's important for even the most honest of Abes (and Abigails) among us to realize that those bodily symptoms, reactions that happen as a result of nerves, can make us be perceived as less-than-truthful. While it's true that some things like a racing heart or churning stomach can't be seen by our listener, it's important to think about the nervous symptoms that CAN. Watch BrainStuff's video below, and then check out this post on dealing with stage fright and performance anxiety.

Do you suffer from any of these symptoms? Have you ever worried that they are undermining your credibility? How do you deal? Let us know in the comments below!

A big thanks to BrainStuff for another great video!



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