Fascinating report from The Economist: How to tell when your boss is lying. Researchers identify a number of patterns common to CEOs and CFOs who turn out with hindsight, to have misled analysts. Apparently, the liars tend to make more references to general knowledge (“as you know”); and use the first person less.

They also tend to superlatives (“fantastic” rather than “good”) and swear more. And they use less phatic speech (ums and ers). Vehemence is no substitute for true certainty.

Hat tip: Bob Sutton

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