Reading People

In the business world it is easy enough to adopt a corporate persona, or several corporate personae, depending on the situation. Some people will act one way with their subordinates, another way with their boss, and a totally different way with people outside the company.

But the real self, one ‘s true nature, can’t change colour to suits environment. In any ongoing business situation, sooner or later, either subliminally or out in the open, you are going to find that you are dealing with that persona’s real self.

If nothing else, you want to hear what people are really saying, as opposed to what they are telling you; you want to be able to put someone’s deeds, his own business activities, into the larger context of character. Whether I’m selling or buying; whether or being hired; whether I’m negotiating a contract or responding to someone else’s demands, I want to know where the other person is coming from. I want to know the other person’s real self.

Business situations always come down to people situations. And the more, and the sooner, I know about the person I am dealing with, the more effective I’m going to be.

People will often make judgements about others even before meeting them, based on what they’ve heard or what they know about their company.

People reading is a matter of opening up your senses to what is really going on. A person’s nature, true self, cannot change with situations. It is totally consistent. The better you know that person, the more you can get beneath the façade, the more accurately you can predict how he or she is likely to react or respond in almost any business situation. This knowledge is invaluable.

Book recommendations:

Daniel Goleman – Emotional Intelligence – Part II The Dark Triad

Mark McCormack – What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School