Brenda Bradberry taught me never to judge someone before knowing them. People reading is not judging. It is a genuine, generous attempt to meet people where they are. We should not judge a new book by its cover, but we can start reading it right away.
We are all different. And complicated. Few people understand their own personality styles, much less others. If only we had a personal operator's guide, maybe an A.I. powered app that records and broadcasts our styles and preferences. Then, we could know a person deeply from across the room, after a quick digital handshake. Wait. Maybe that's how dating apps work already. And it's a little scary.
Hiring is a little like scouring through Netflix for your next show to binge.
On Netflix, you have so many choices, and the opportunities for entertainment are endless. Recommendations from friends could be too slapstick for your taste, and although some programs might be critically acclaimed, they may not be your style. Make the wrong choice, and you have just wasted hours of scarce leisure time that you will never get back.
We previously introduced a short-cut to “people reading,” using one of the two dimensions of human behavior - pace. We choose pace as the first criteria because (1) it can be easily observed, and (2) pace is an indicator of decision-making style. How fast someone moves predicts how quickly they will make decisions. Good to know in a new business relationship. A salesperson, for example, should adapt her pace to the prospect’s, so not to move too quickly or slowly toward a sale.
After practicing the observation of pace, we are ready to evaluate on the second dimension of human behavior, Acceptance, a preference for people or facts. We ask, “is she more Questioning and Skeptical, or Warm and Accepting?” Sometimes it is obvious. If he is extra “bubbly” and enthusiastic, he tends to orient toward people. If he wants to go straight to the spreadsheets without any chit-chat, he is likely more logical.