Sunday, 21 October 2012

Nun Lies - The art of misdirection

This technique is to guide someone or a group of people to a conclusion that is not the full truth and doing so without lying. This can be done by withholding information and/or presenting selective facts in a suggestive manner.

Obviously this can easily be abused so it should be applied only if specific criteria are met this is if you want to keep your integrity and reputation intact. All of which you cannot do if you try to mislead other people for personal gain or conceal your own mistakes.

So what is this technique good for then? Surprise occasions, sensitive information where partial understanding or bias viewpoints can cause more damage from a holistic point of view.

Some points for consideration:

  • Learn to keep confidential information; do not offer up sensitive information without having a good reason to.
  • Don’t plot up elaborate scenario. Keep the breadcrumbs basic, the more complex the less believable and more difficult to sustain over time.
  • Do not use Nun Lies on serious topics. If the potential disclosure of the Nun Lie is foreseen to be difficult to recover from rather reconsider being completely transparent.
  • If a Nun Lie is exposed do not try to cover up anything, if applied correctly you should be able to recover by telling the whole truth. Continuing deception at that point can seriously damage relationships.
  • Redirection is a powerful tool; learn to shift the focus or the direction of a topic without raising alarms.
  • Ensure that the breadcrumbs lead to a clear insinuating conclusion. You don’t want people asking for clarity or details at the end of the trail.

E.g. you are organizing an elaborate secret valentines evening for both you and your partner and he/she is now inquiring whether you have made plans for valentines.
Response: "We had a big dinner last valentine, how do you feel about a quite relaxed dinner at home? You don't need to do anything I will prepare everything. [Pause/waiting for response] Talking about dinner, what should we bring to this weekend’s dinner with your parents?"

Breakdown: This provides breadcrumbs based on facts, strong insinuation using a question as a statement, moves the conversation along over the intended conclusion and ultimately redirecting the conversation to another topic to minimize the exposure on the topic at hand. In essence you never said you haven’t made special plans and the facts surrounding the illusion are all true. This is a basic example, but with exercise application could allow you to function in an imperfect world without compromising your integrity.

Stemming from this concept is the “Stairs to nowhere approach”. This portrays an antagonistic concept where people use unrelated facts as premises to draw inaccurate conclusions. This approach is frequently used by politicians and proponent figures to add the illusion of a more believable cause without providing any relevant facts as support. Do not be lead to conclusions; draw your own based on the facts at hand.

E.g. many politicians use their opposition’s mistakes as reasons to sway voters. Without a proper strategy that suggests a different outcome, these claims are worthless as premises to their own capabilities. 


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Fear of Fears

This is a self-administered fear of being constrained by our fears. The idea of our fears suppressing us from reaching our full potential and life experience should invoke an even greater fear, the fear of fears.

Does this mean we need to embrace a never-say-no-philosophy? Although extremes can be useful to prove points they are seldom effective in real world application. This brings us to the next crucial aspect; know the difference between the fear of the unknown and hesitation based on valid concerns. This is the fear we need to face, we need to be empowered by our experiences, not be kept back from the lack of previous experience when an opportunity presents itself.

Be honest with yourself and face your fears aggressively, as you would an enemy. We have to live with ourselves our whole existence so the person you should strive to disappoint the least is yourself. Make a decision, yes or no and do not doubt yourself once it is made, the biggest failure is indecisiveness or the lack of resolve to commit to a decision (This points to the commitment to a choice not an inability to admit to failures).