To grow, we must all learn. But we all have different learning styles. Mine was to read books or to be in a a lecture or classroom type environment. Such learning style have served me good in obtaining my degree. Unfortunately, in the real world its not books that you have to read. It’s people. And lessons you can learn from them are not written. Most of the time its given through your interaction with your boss or colleague. The most important ones are read from analyzing their actions.
It is imperative that you learn to read people to a certain degree. When you start working, there are very few books to read. If you want to succeed in your field, or to climb that corporate and much more if you want to be a successful entrepreneur; reading people is something that you need to master. Here’s why. When you start working, instructions on what you do or how do your job will not be provided to you through an exam type kind of questionnaire. This will be through a weekly meeting where your team will discuss the items to be done for the week. Through out that week, you need to constantly gauge on what among the items you have agreed are of high priority. If you are with a good boss, you can ask him or her directly and he will give you one. If you are not with a good boss, he or she will be as puzzled as you are and will give you more than one. If the second case applies to you, you need to spot the action cues he or she communicates. Does he or she more frequently ask for an update on one project versus the other? If you raise issue on one project, does his or her facial expression or body language shows little interest on the matter?
I have developed such learning bias as I was purposely antisocial (,well even until now but I have improved.) When I was still a student, I find little use or sense on small talk. Because of this, I have a very low social intelligence. I have a hard time sensing what a person really means based on his or her actions compared to what he says. Hopefully, you socialized more than I did when I was a student. In case, you are like me here’s a list of what you and I need to do.
1. Be more social compared to you currently are. I did not attend much social events because I was not interested in most of the topic in a conversation. But recently I have discovered meetup. (I was not paid to advertise them.) The concept is to find a group with the same interest as you do. By joining a coding study group I hit two birds with one stone. I got to socialize and practice my action reading skills and I got to learn how to code.
2. Always carry a notebook and list your thoughts observation. To be able to catch instructions relayed through a meeting, you need to take notes. In addition to that, list your observations on the body language – try to spot as many cues as you can. Though there are many common cues like leaning in shows interest, a person has a unique set of cues so you need to study him or her through time. I suggest you focus this to significant people only – your immediate supervisor, the boss of your immediate supervisor, your teammates you are closely working with.
3. Reflect on 1 and 2. Apply filter. Just like, not all books provide a good theory. Not all observations you noted are good. There will be cues more important than the other. You need to filter the catch and only stick with the good ones that you can use indicator.
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