How do I read people better
How do I read people better?
The first step to being a great communicator is to create a solid foundation. How many times have we left meetings and wondered how it went? If we know what signs to look for, there are plenty of indicators that can help us assess the interaction and make adjustments if necessary.
Is your voice more expressive than your Face?
Empathy refers to the ability to “resonate,” or feel and understand another person’s emotions. Empathy research has shown that empathy is a skill that allows us to read the emotions of others. We can mimic their facial expressions or mirror them, and we are able to understand what they are feeling. Swedish research shows that if someone is crying, our eyes may water. If they frown, we also do the same. One study found that Botox can make it difficult to read facial expressions, so if you have Botox between your eyebrows, your ability to quickly interpret someone’s emotions could be affected. New research suggests that the voice is a powerful tool to connect us, which is good news for our technological lifestyle.
Perspectives on Empathy
Psychologists discovered that empathy is an innate trait. Even babies can show it. While some people are more empathic than others, the majority of people get more empathy as they age. Research suggests that you can become more compassionate if you are motivated. There are many ways to develop empathy. However, the majority of them involve positive social behaviors like getting to know other people, challenging your biases, and putting yourself in their shoes. Stories, especially fictional ones, offer another way to see beyond oneself.
Empathy requires Listening
We usually identify the emotions of others by their facial expressions, and their eyes. Eye contact is crucial in empathy, as it is said that the eyes are the windows into the soul. Psychologists often use the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” exercise for testing empathy in their experiments. It is a simple exercise that enables you to detect subtle changes in the eyes of others and then respond accordingly.
For example, if someone is talking to you on the phone, it might be easier to spot if they are slowing down and seem nervous. Or if their speech sounds sluggish and tired. You can also detect excitement and enthusiasm when they speak in a fast and high-pitched manner.
9 tips to help you read people better
1. Create a baseline
Different people have different patterns and quirks. They might, for example, clear their throats, stare at the ground while speaking, cross their arms and scratch their heads. We may not notice these behaviors at first. We may not pay attention if we notice.
These behaviors can be attributed to many reasons. These behaviors could be simply mannerisms. These same actions can sometimes be indicative of deception or anger, or even nervousness.
2. Look for deviations
Be aware of inconsistencies between what you have created and the person’s words, gestures, and actions. It is possible to ask more questions and probe deeper than you normally would.
3. Observe clusters of gestures
Although no one gesture or word is necessarily meaningful, it’s important to notice when multiple behavioral aberrations are combined.
4. Compare and contrast
You have noticed that someone is acting differently than usual. You can take your observation to the next level and see if or when they repeat that behavior with others in your group.
Keep an eye on the person’s interactions with other people in the room. Is there a change in the person’s expression? What about the person’s body language and posture?
5. Look into the mirror
Mirror neurons are brain-built monitors that can reflect the state of mind of others. Our brains are wired to interpret body language. A smile activates the smile muscles of our faces, and a frown activates them.
We like to have our eyebrows arched, our facial muscles relaxed, our head tilted, and blood flowing to our lips, making them fuller, when we meet someone.
If your partner does not reciprocate, it could be a sign that they don’t like or agree with you.
6. Identify the strong voice
The person at the top of the table is not always the most powerful.
People who are confident have strong voices. Confident people have strong voices and an expansive posture.
It’s easy to forget about the leader when you pitch an idea to a group. However, the leader might have a weak personality. He or she is often dependent on others for decisions and easily influenced.
Your chances of success will increase dramatically if you identify the strong voice.
7. Watch their movements.
People who move slowly, have a stiff neck, and keep their heads down often lack self-confidence.
These traits can be spotted in your team members. You might offer praise to build their confidence. You might need to ask the person more questions in a meeting to get those brilliant ideas out.
8. Pinpoint action words
Action words can give insight into how a person thinks.
9. Find personality clues
Every person is unique, but there are some basic explanations that can help with understanding another person and helping you to read them accurately.
- Is someone more introverted than extroverted?
- Is he/she driven by significance or relationships?
- What is the best way to manage uncertainty and risk?
- What is his or her source of energy?
- What are their stress-related behaviors?
- What is the person’s relaxed behavior?
Listen to your gut, especially in first meetings. This is a visceral reaction you feel before you can think. It tells you if you are at ease. Gut feelings occur quickly, a primal response. These feelings are your inner truth meter and relay if people can be trusted.
It is possible to tune in to someone without their words and body language. Your intuition is what you feel in your gut, not what your brain says. It is nonverbal information that you perceive through images and ahha-has rather than logic. Understanding someone is about understanding their emotions. It is not their exterior trappings that matters most. To uncover a deeper story, intuition allows you to see beyond the obvious.