I spend a lot of time working one on one with people, often trying to convince them to take part in things they don’t want to do (change is hard for most people).I am not the best communicator in the world, but I get it right often enough. And some of my current team have noticed this, so I put together some key tips on how to figure out what people are thinking.
The reason I felt I could speak about this to them is, I am:
-A father of a baby girl, which demands I know what she wants or tears will flow;
-Serial entrepreneur, having worked in multiple industries and on multiple businesses;
-Contract trainer; having trained over 8000 people;
-Constant sales man; once told I could sell ice to Eskimos who wants to know every thing about people and what makes them tick.
So here are my 7 tips, based on my real life experiment, to know what people are thinking:
- The Feet. The first thing I do when reading a person is to look at their feed, not what shoes they have on, but the direction they are pointing. Simply put the feet will point at they want.
- Body Lean. Are they leaning towards or away from me? A person wants to be near what they want and away from what they don’t want (make sure you look for more than one thing, you might be especially pungent that day).
- Hand Rub. If it is really cold in the room and a person is rubbing their hands together fast I would say they are just cold, how ever if you just told them something that should be relevant and useful, looking for that hand rub means they like what they are hearing.
- Eyes. Pupil metrics (talked about in David J, Lieberman’s book; You can read anyone) is the name given to the analysis of pupil dilation when customers look at products in store (cameras measure the pupil dilatation). When the pupils are big and black the customer likes what they see, very, very small and they just don’t like what they are looking at. Same thing goes for everything you just told them.
- So you are looking at? After talking with someone and you think you know what they are thinking or feeling and you want to test that theory. Run you mind through the following check list: Looking at the feet, where are they pointing (to the door or at you). Are they leaning towards you or away from you (towards is good, away not so much). Noticing any positive hand rubbing and or pupil dilation? If so, I would say it is a fair guess things are going well.
- So what do I do with that? Noticing these things will give you a very good picture of weather your message is getting across to that person and if they are engaged in what you are saying. If it is all positive, keep going. If you are getting the opposite, it is time to change your approach.
- What about their language? I have spent a lot of time talking to people about the language we use and what it can tell you. For now stop missing the obvious (don’t get caught up speaking the way you like to speak), hear the words people say and use the same ones. Having the flexibility to communicate the way others do, will make the biggest impact.
And that is the start point, reading people is far more complex than 7 points, but they will get you on the road. If you find your self trying out any of these, and want more. Research the different books on body language, micro expressions and communication.
Rock and Roll
PS. What is the one thing you don’t do, that would cause the most positive change in your life?