GeneralHr Library

Reading Minds: A Necessary Science, Not Fictional Magic

Source | BlogNotions : By Dan Erwin

The other evening after listening to a neighbor talk about her family I asked whether she was “rules oriented.” I was certain she was, but I wanted to double-check my prediction. “Of course,” she said. “That’s the best way to raise kids. Aren’t you?” Amused by her shock at my negative answer, I was more intrigued by the fact that in spite of a number of personally-revealing conversations, she was clueless regarding my orientation.

Her lack of mind reading tools resulted in prediction failure.

As a business person, you can’t afford that kind of prediction failure. Your ability to predict others’ thinking and behavior is not only necessary for working with your boss, peers, subordinates, clients and teams, it’s also necessary for overall career success.

Mind-reading skills grow out of two disciplines…

the rhetorical competency of “close reading” and the communication competency of “barrier resolution.” Close reading tools are mind-reading competencies that enable you to go beyond the words and evidence that’s presented. Barrier-resolution tools are competencies that help you limit your relationship errors.

Ultimately, predicting human behavior is built on the well-accepted fact that ways of thinking tend to be systematic. People tend to hold well-connected kinds of values and convictions in their thinking.

We want our thinking to be consistent. So, for example, what we think about the environment may share some basic assumptions and values with what we think about government programs for the poor. What’s especially useful about these tools is that once we identify a person’s set of values or convictions we are able to predict how a person will think and behave related to other similar issues. Obviously mind reading tools are not foolproof, but they are highly valuable in nearly all the important relationships of life: business, investing, schooling, complex decision making, even choice of friends.

So how can you up the ante on your mind-reading skills? In short, how can you become a successful “predictor” of others’ thinking and behavior?



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