Whether you’re reading your boss, co-worker, or partner to understand people accurately ,you must surrender biases, some walls must come down. People will always give themselves away by their mannerisms.
As brilliant as the intellect is, you have to be willing to let go of old, limiting ideas. People who read others well are trained to read the invisible. They’ve learned to utilize their “super-senses” to look further than where you usually put your attention to access life-changing intuitive insights.
Judith Orloff(MD) invites us to explore some of these different methods of reading people from her book The Ecstacy of surrender They all require surrendering pure logic in favor of also receiving alternative, non-linear forms of input.
Three Techniques in the Art of Reading People
The First Technique. Observe body language Cues
Research has shown that words account for only seven percent of how we communicate whereas our body language (55 percent) and voice tone (30 percent) represent the rest. Here, the surrender to focus on is letting go of trying too hard to read body language cues. Don’t get overly intense or analytical. Stay relaxed and fluid. Be comfortable, sit back, and simply observe.
1. Pay Attention to Appearance
When reading others notice: Are they wearing a power suit and well-shined shoes, dressed for success, indicating ambition? Jeans and a t-shirt, indicating comfort with being casual? A tight top with cleavage, a seductive choice? A pendant such as a cross or Buddha indicating spiritual values?
2. Notice Posture
When reading people’s posture, ask yourself: Do they hold their head high, confident? Or do they walk indecisively or cower, a sign of low self esteem? Do they swagger with a puffed out chest, sign of a big ego?
3. Watch For Physical Movements
- Leaning and Distance—Observe where people lean. Generally, we lean toward those we like and away from those we don’t.
- Crossed arms and legs—This pose suggests defensiveness, anger or self-protection. When people cross their legs they tend to point the toes of the top leg towards the person they are most at ease with.
- Hiding one’s hands—When people place their hands in their laps, pockets, or put them behind their back it suggests that they are hiding something.
- Lip biting or cuticle picking—When people bite or lick their lips or pick their cuticles they are trying to soothe themselves under pressure or in an awkward situation.
4. Interpret Facial Expression
Emotions can become etched on our faces. Deep frown lines suggests worry or over-thinking. Crow’s feet are the smile lines of joy. Pursed lips signal anger, contempt, or bitterness. A clenched jaw and teeth grinding are signs of tension.
When we master the art of understanding people, the world will be a better place,and life will become more interesting, Goodluck