Body language. Never underestimate what someone’s mannerisms, posture, facial expressions and handshake is trying to tell you. As a rule, nonverbal communication is infinitely more telling and powerful than what comes out of the individual’s mouth. Anyone can say anything, but it’s another challenge altogether to act differently than how you feel.
It’s One of the Most Difficult Communication Methods to Mask
If you’re familiar with the four people types, you’ll know that mad, sad, glad and scared individuals are starkly different from one another. At the same time, nobody is all one type. There is overlap when it comes to personalities and tendencies. However, since nonverbal communication is hard to mask, all it takes is a few minutes of observation to spot the sure signs:
The mad personality type can have an intimidating glare; their fearlessness will cause all touchy-feely types to question their own authority. When shaking hands, they will likely present a firm, unwavering grip. In conversation they’re exacting and “to the point.” They give short, concrete, simple answers that make sense and are devoid of emotional messaging.
You’ll notice “crow’s feet” around their eyes – they smile with their eyes and their mouth follows. They’re friendly and open. They listen to you in order to get to the end of your sentence so they can contribute to the conversation. They’re probably scanning the room while you talk, double-checking if there is anything interesting going on that they’re missing.
They’re warm and friendly, but they probably won’t look you directly in the eye. They’re calm. Serene. They are difficult to read and will never show “all” their cards. They’re accommodating and will likely remain neutral when caught in factions.
They’re usually thinking about everything you’re saying and evaluating the information. They often appear cold and aloof and will not usually display emotions on the face. Stiff, mechanical, and often socially awkward, scared types see the world and people as a threat as opposed to an opportunity.
To break it down even simpler, just analyze the handshake. Is it strong and sure? You’re shaking hands with an attainer, either a dominant or influential personality type. Is it limp and hesitant? There is a higher likelihood you’re meeting a maintainer, a submissive or compliant personality type.
Mirroring Their Style Can Help, But Being Personal is Better
So many sales or influential gurus tell you that the best way to get a prospect to trust you is to mirror their body language. Sure, this can help to a degree. But at the same time, people are wired for connection. They don’t want pandering. They don’t want fake. You can match their nonverbal style if it’s you, but if it’s not, just be real. Don’t be a machine. Use their body language clues to help you understand their concerns, but most people can sniff out when you’re not being authentic.
We See People as We Are
The natural tendency of all people is to see people as you see yourself. You’re looking at them through your own lens, not theirs.
Want to learn how to read people in three minutes or less? I can teach you. Schedule a call with me and start reaching the next level of personality assessment and behavioral analysis.