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The Skill You’ve Always Wanted: How to Instantly Read People

By | Tony Alessandra |

The ability to “read” people is by far one of your most valuable skills in business. The people you interact with each day send you signals, and if you learn what to look and listen for, each person will tell you exactly how to effectively work with him.

Everyone experiences the same basic human needs—results, recognition, regimentation and relationships—with some holding more dominance than others. Depending on the weight placed on each need, people differ in personality.

So what is there to read?

Related: How to Read People Like an FBI Agent

Dozens of signals—verbal, vocal and visuals—tell you when to speed up or slow down, when to focus on the details or when to work on building the relationship. But, because people are different, the same technique won’t always work.

Human Behavior Has Two Dimensions

When people act and react—with verbal, vocal and visual actions—in social situations, they exhibit clues to their behavioral style. Identifying that is possible by classifying a person’s behavior on two dimensions: openness and directness.

Open vs. Guarded: Openness is the readiness and willingness with which a person outwardly shows emotions or feelings and develops interpersonal relationships.

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