New Release by Shashi Tharoor
  • Meera

How to read people

Most important management skill is reading people. Unless you understand your team, you will never be able to make them work to their full potential. To manage different people with different personalities and different backgrounds and circumstances is no easy task. Similarly you also have to deal with your relatives, friends, family and to manage all your relations effectively, you need to be able to read them well. Now you may think that this is very time consuming and difficult and you would rather focus on your priorities and tasks at hand, right?

What if I tell you that one conversation is enough to understand a person? Sounds interesting? Yes, one 15 minute conversation is more than sufficient to understand an individual. All you need to do is observe. A person's body language, their facial expressions are sufficient to read them. Following are the few very effective ques:

1. Watch the eyes- You can easily catch if a person is lying by just observing their eyes. You know that your left brain is your thinking brain right? So when a person is lying, the tendency is to look leftward-up as they are thinking while talking and making stories. Whereas right side - up is when a person wants to actually decorate the truth and is thinking of bringing out the real ideas in their head in a creative manner. When a person looks straight into your eyes, the person is in the moment, interested in you and is looking for your approval.

2. Facial expression-Covering the face with hands is a way of hiding when you are lying.There could also be unusual gestures of nervousness like licking lips, sweating, change in voice. There are many personality signs clearly visible through facial expressions. Innocent person will make more expressions. Manipulative people don't easily show off their expressions on face. Such people will either hide their emotions behind a smile or a straight face. People bite their lips when worried or stressed and tighten their lips in case of disapproval or distrust in you.

3. Head movement- Nodding head shows approval or disapproval in whichever way done. People who mostly keep their head down have inferiority complex and head slightly up shows confidence. Constant fidgeting with hair shows a distracted personality.

4. Hand gestures- An enthusiastic person will show more hand gestures. Very less hand gestures are made by the person who keeps lots of secrets. An open personality like a film star makes a lot of hand gestures while speaking while a closed personality like a business person will hardly make hand gestures.

5. Look down at feet- If a person is constantly shaking their feet even while sitting it shows that they are restless, it also means they have plenty of thoughts running in their mind. A person with relaxed feet is comfortable and in the moment. Again one leg over other with hands crossed is a gesture of distancing self from others. It is a personality of someone who builds wall between themselves and others. Whereas a person with open personality will be comfortable just placing their arms apart and open.

6. Proximity- A close person or person who wants to be close to you will be more intimate in their interactions whereas a person who wants to keep their distance will do so with their body language.

Apart from non verbal cues, verbal cues are equally important. There is a lot of message hidden in every interaction about someone's nature and vibe. Better understand this early than later and be with those whose vibe matches yours. Following are some cues to read a person as per their words. Observe what a person says most often:

1. ' I am not good enough'- the person who says that is very self critical and will also judge you mostly on the qualities that you do not have instead of those that you have

2. 'I have this thing to do after speaking to you'- Such a person is generally well self managed and is goal oriented and values time

3. 'What are you up to' - a person who is interested to know more about you, a smart person who would rather read you than letting you read him/her by asking you more questions

4. 'Do you know'- a professor personality who assumes they know more than anyone else

5.'I have done this'- a pompous person who wants to show off their achievements all the time and expect appreciation.

6. 'I don't agree with you'- this person is a jealous person. He/she will never agree on anything with you because of their own jealous reasons but you need to cut off soon from them and distance yourself

Above were few lessons on reading people. When you are able to read people, you are able to carefully evaluate whom to surround yourself with and this will only bring positive development in your life.

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