Mike and I have written a lot about body language and perception. Check out our book Axis of Influence for lots of rich intel on this subject.
While you're at it, check out Harvard Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy. Amy's research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.
Politics is perhaps the most fascinating arena where likeability plays out. Which politicians are likeable and what makes them so? Which politicians are un-likeable and what makes them so?
One of the stereotypical descriptors of politicans (republican AND democratic) is that they are materialistic. If that’s true, it might make them less likeable, according to an article in ScienceDaily.
Researchers discovered that people who invest in material possessions are less happy and less popular among peers. They also have fewer and less satisfying friendships, according to the study led by University of Colorado at Boulder psychology Professor Leaf Van Boven.
In one experiment undergraduates who didn't know each other were randomly paired up and assigned to discuss either a material possession or a life experience they had purchased and were happy with. After talking for 15 or 20 minutes they were then asked about their conversation partners by the researchers.
"What we found was that people who had discussed their material possessions liked their conversation partner less than those who had discussed an experience they had purchased," Van Boven said. "They also were less interested in forming a friendship with them, so there's a real social cost to being associated with material possessions rather than life experiences."
Read the full article at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414130832.htm
Psychological marketing does not exist without the ability to "read" your existing A-level clients. How else would you know who you want to reach? So, the most important element in psychological marketing comes from your ability to read other people.
In the real world, you can look at their facial lines and make some very accurate deductions about their thinking style and behavior.
That little skill set is so simple and easy that it's a no-brainer. It's the first skill we teach in our coaching, and it's the topic of our most popular book (Face Values).
– Mike Lovas
The key to spotting a lie is to get a "baseline" of the person's normal behavior and conversation style. Then, you can more easily see deviations from that baseline. Beyond that simple guideline, there are numerous specifics to watch for. Then, when you see one of these "tells," you'll know there is at least some discomfort in the other person. Your job is to determine if it's innocence or deceit.
One of my favorite columists is Carol Kinsey Goman, who writes a wonderful blog on organization change and leadership. One of her newest columns is "12 Ways to Spot a Liar at Work." It's really good! Here is the link:
Pam's favorite researcher Alexander Todorov in conjunction with fellow Princeton researcher Nikolaas Oosterhof, have developed a computer program that allows scientists to analyze better than ever before what it is about certain human faces that makes them look either trustworthy or fearsome. In doing so, they have also found that the program allows them to construct computer-generated faces that display the most trustworthy or dominant faces possible.
- A trustworthy face, at its most extreme, has a U-shaped mouth and eyes that form an almost surprised look.
- An untrustworthy face, at its most extreme, is an angry one with the edges of the mouth curled down and eyebrows pointing down at the center.
- The least dominant face possible is one resembling a baby's with a larger distance between the eyes and the eyebrows than other faces.
- A threatening face can be obtained by averaging an untrustworthy and a dominant face.
One of my Marine Corps friends asked me how to tell if a prospect is receptive. It is a great question – one we get asked often. Here is the simple way to approach it:
Think of the facial expression you'd make if you were skeptical. It's probably a frown, or you'd raise one eyebrow. Your body language would be closed or stiff.
Now, think of the cues you'd give if you were enjoying yourself. Your face would be smiling, or (both) your eyebrows would be moving up, and you would be nodding Yes. Your body language would be open and reaching forward. Get the picture? People who are receptive to you unconsciously mirror your facial expressions and gestures. They smile, nod and reach. They agree with you verbally and non-verbally. Key, don't give them anything to disagree with.
Like this type of information? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you read these Faces?
If business relationships are important to you, let us help you read people so you can see their values and communication style.
You can use this page to test your "people reading" skills. What can you tell about the following people based on just their faces? For example, can you see who is a Driver? Or Analytical? Or Expressive? Or Amiable?
These first images show corporate decision makers who got into trouble. What do they have in common?
John McCain has what personality type?
Can you see the similarities in the following faces? What do they have in common?
Can you see what Hilary's dominant facial feature is?
How would you compare Rudi and John?
Do Robin Williams and Harrison Ford have the same personality type?
One of the things I love about my business is learning how to read other people. I teach people these “people reading” skills, and have a great deal of fun in the process. I love doing this and love improving my people reading skills.
Most recently, I’ve been collecting photos of people displaying the face of contempt. We all have our own definition of “contempt,” but the face is the same in all cultures. Can you see what facial feature these people have in common?
Pam and I have researched how to read people for many years. Beyond its fascination, reading people is extremely relevant to your business. Why? Because when you can read someone, you know his personality type, values and communication style, and what logic to use. You also know what NOT to do and say.
The value of reading a prospect can be represented in two very simple truths:
- The faster you discover what the other person values, the faster you show yourself as being relevant.
- The more you learn about the other person, the easier it is to establish a trusting relationship.
Want to learn how to read people? Let me know: email@example.com
Quick Quiz: What do these people have in common: Engineer, Mathematician, Scientist and Neurologist?
Answer: There’s a high probability they are all Analytical.