Reading Others

If you were to ask, “How can I recognize the trait characteristics of an individual and do it quickly?” The easiest way to figure out someone’s style is to send them a NocNocK™ request through the app. This way you can easily see what someone’s characterological profile is. However, if they haven’t taken the NocNocK™ survey, you will want to effectively hone the ability to “read” individuals. In order to do so, you need to observe the way they behave, be aware of their tone of voice, and actively listen to what they are saying.

It requires that you become in tune with them completely. Signals are always present, but most of the time these aren’t picked up by individuals. You need to know what you are looking for, and you should be able to understand what certain behaviors mean so that you can evaluate the issue. You will need to communicate with them on their “wavelength” – something that you will have to discover, instead of waiting for them to interact with you. This helps to create a rapport.

Behavioral research shows that people like and trust others who appear to be most similar to their own personalities. Conversely, studies have shown that people who have the least in common with others will have a harder time establishing trusting relationships.

To identify a style, think, “Is the person more relationship-oriented or more focused on the task?” If someone is more controlling, they are likely to be Directive or Systematic; compared with those who are more supporting and usually likely to be Expressive and Considerate. If they are informal, warm, and receptive, you can determine that they are Expressive or Considerate. If they are more questioning and skeptical, they are more likely to be Directive or Systematic.

The next thing to identify is whether the person is more extroverted and fast paced. If they are, it is likely that they are Expressive or Directive. If they are slow-moving and introverted, it is more likely they are Systematic or Considerate. This quick determination can help you place the individual in one of the four possible behavioral styles through the process of elimination.

For example, if you believe an individual is showing an exceptional amount of focus on a relationship, you can eliminate the Directive and Systematic styles. Then, if you notice they are quieter and reflective, you can eliminate the Expressive characteristic. Using the process of elimination, you can judge that the individual is likely to be Considerate.

High Directive
Clues with regard to their speech pattern include: they tend to talk very fast and are often high-pitched; they say what they please and tend to lead conversations; they often argue and listen to what the other person has to say only to gain points for arguments; they have confidence in their abilities and can respond to others quickly. They also ask a lot of ‘what’ questions, in particular.

Clues regarding their body language consist of walking at a fast pace and having the tendency to sit with their arms crossed behind their heads. They are quite impatient and pace around a lot. Overall clues regarding such individuals consist of them being demanding and tending to challenge others a lot, as they have a strong will and are quite independent. They have specific goals that they work towards, and they are constantly on edge and reach conclusions quickly.

High Expressive
Clues about how they talk are: they engage in small talk and have high levels of enthusiasm; they can persuade others easily and demonstrate what they talk about; they enjoy talking more than listening and are quite positive. They tend to be loud and respond to others with a lot of energy, and they like to question people about their emotions. They are quick to answer and may even interrupt others. They talk with intent and enjoy talking a lot, their tones vary depending on who they are talking to, and they get easily distracted.

Clues about their body language: they tend to make use of hand gestures a lot, they may even frequently walk into things (by not paying attention to their physical surroundings), but they are very friendly people who constantly smile. They have a pleasant and upbeat demeanor, and their hands may often be found in their pockets (when they are not using hand gestures). Overall clues regarding their personality include high levels of emotionality. They enjoy spending time with groups of individuals; they are not very organized and fear being rejected by others, they wish to gain approval from their peers, they enjoy having fun and are quite spontaneous, but don’t practice time management effectively.

High Considerate
Clues with regard to their style of talking: They speak in soft tones and with a relaxed manner, and they tend to be good at listening to others. When talking, they maintain eye contact but may fold their arms in front of their body. They are very informal in the way they act, and they easily show their emotions.

Overall clues regarding them consist of being positive, having a lot of patience, being logical, and showing humility and reliability. They enjoy being part of smaller groups of people and they are cooperative and enjoy working with teams.

High Systematic
Clues to look for when listening to them talk: they speak in a monotone and in a slow manner, they tend to ask questions in order to arrive at correct facts, they listen closely so they can be critical, and they often speak about rules and procedures. They show a lack of emotions and avoid small talk. They constantly look for additional information and make use of specific and “rational” words.

Cues with regard to their body language: they do not use of a lot of gestures, and their level of enthusiasm tends to be quite low. When approaching surroundings, they walk in a fast pace but look around for any obstacles which may be present, their expressions are reserved, and they tend to keep away from others because they prefer less physical contact when in social situations.

Learning how to read others can give you an instant insight into the motivations and communication styles of others.

To become an expert “people reader”, you can often identify a person’s “Primary Personality Characteristic.” By using NocNocK™ to understand people better and communicate more effectively, you will build stronger relationships with others and be better able to get the results you need in order to successfully exceed others’ expectations. People are much more complex than these simple behavioral triggers. Whenever possible, you should obtain assessment reports to give you more insight about a person.

Charlie Sheppard is President of Sheppard Partners, Inc., a company on the forefront of next-generation behavioral assessment technologies. Sheppard Partners is an organizational development consulting company that focuses its efforts on helping organizations create high performance cultures. He brings experience in organizational development, specializing in the assessment, design, and delivery of development programs with an emphasis on strategic alignment, leadership development, team development, and negotiation skills. By developing innovative technologies and delivering creative solutions, Sheppard Partners is an active partner in the selection process, in the creation of effective teams, and in ongoing organizational development. Charlie coordinates the activities of Sheppard Partners consultants and serves the firm as the lead developer of assessment technologies and courseware.

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