Mastering the Art of Human Intelligence with Gavin Stone

This episode of Dial It In features Gavin Stone, a security and intelligence covert specialist with 20 years of experience. He discusses his book on detecting lies and his expertise in human intel, surveillance, anti-surveillance, and tradecraft skills. Stone's unique abilities include elicitation, deception, detection, influence, persuasion, and damage mitigation in high-risk situations.


Mastering the Art of Human Intelligence with Gavin Stone

In this week's episode of Dial It In, we had the pleasure of speaking with Gavin Stone, a former intelligence and security specialist with a wealth of experience in human intel. Gavin shared his insights on body language, lie detection, and the subtle art of elicitation, all of which are crucial skills for anyone in the business of persuasion, including sales professionals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Beat Saber VR Game: We kicked off the episode with a personal story about gifting a VR headset and the addictive nature of the game Beat Saber, highlighting the importance of engaging experiences.

  • Gavin Stone's Background: Gavin has an extensive background with the British Ministry of Defense and is ranked as a top body language expert. His book, "How to Tell if Someone is Lying," is a testament to his expertise in deception detection and human analysis.

  • Entering the Intelligence Field: Gavin shared his unconventional entry into the intelligence field, starting with process serving and gradually moving up to private investigations and eventually government intelligence work.

  • Human Intelligence (HUMINT): Gavin explained the process of building rapport in dangerous circumstances, profiling individuals, and the importance of elicitation in intelligence gathering.

  • Tradecraft in Entertainment: We discussed the portrayal of tradecraft in movies and TV shows, with Gavin confirming that while some aspects are accurate, much of it is dramatized for entertainment.

  • Sales and Elicitation: Gavin provided valuable tips on how salespeople can use elicitation techniques to keep conversations flowing and avoid interrogative questioning.

  • Body Language in Sales: We delved into the importance of body language in sales, with Gavin highlighting key indicators such as digital flexion and the direction of a person's feet as signs of comfort or discomfort.

  • Virtual Selling: The shift to online selling has changed the dynamics of sales and intelligence gathering. Gavin offered strategies for maintaining engagement and detecting deception through virtual platforms.

  • Lie Detection: Gavin shared practical tips from his book on lie detection, emphasizing the importance of listening for direct denials and watching for changes in behavior.

  • Life After Intelligence Work: Finally, Gavin spoke about the common career paths for former intelligence officers, including consulting, sales, authorship, and advising on film and TV productions.


This episode was brought to you by BusyWeb, a digital marketing firm specializing in CRM, marketing, advertising, and website solutions for business service and manufacturing businesses.


Gavin Stone's insights are invaluable for anyone looking to improve their communication skills, whether in sales, leadership, or everyday interactions. His approach to human intelligence is both an art and a science, and we're grateful for the knowledge he shared with us today.

For more information on Gavin's work and his books, be sure to check out the episode and visit the links provided. Join us next week for another insightful conversation on Dial It In.


Download the Transcript


Show Notes:

00:05 - Introduction to Dial It In Podcast
00:47 - VR Headset Gift and Beat Saber Game
01:33 - Introducing Guest Gavin Stone
02:31 - Gavin Stone's Ranking and Book
03:32 - Gavin's Background and Entry into Intelligence
05:19 - The Role of Intelligence Officers
06:46 - Tradecraft in Movies and TV Shows
08:29 - Undercover Intelligence and Personal Anecdote
09:42 - Body Language in Sales
11:15 - Elicitation Techniques in Conversation
13:00 - Call Center Sales Training
15:07 - Using Elicitation in Sales Calls
16:07 - Human Intelligence Gathering in Public Places
17:39 - Predicting a Source's Reliability
18:24 - Profiling Prospects for Small Business Owners
20:42 - BusyWeb's Sponsorship Message
22:10 - Virtual Selling and Body Language Online
25:23 - Detecting Deception in Virtual Meetings
27:08 - Eye-Accessing Cues for Truth and Deception
29:03 - Dealing with Passive Aggressive Responses
30:30 - Basic Body Language Movements and Meanings
32:05 - Gavin's Book "The Unforgiven Spy"
33:10 - Lie Detection Tips from Gavin's Book
35:33 - Post-Intelligence Career Paths
37:41 - Wrap Up and Gavin's Upcoming Tour