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Michael O’Leary – The Clown Prince of Ryan Air? A facial Profile

Michael O Leary_2015_(cropped)

O’Leary nodded. “I think, given the performance of our rostering department over the last week, a description of me as a clown is appropriate in the circumstances,” he replied, matter-of-factly.

It’s never a surprise to find Michael O’Leary’s name in the headlines. Frequently it is in connection with some controversy. Lately, however it has been almost exclusively so.  The recent very public issues over flight cancellations and passengers being discommoded show little signs of abating. Through it all O’Leary has remained combative. His apologies have been minimalistic in style. So who is Michael O’Leary? A look at his facial features from the perspective of Mien Shiang, the ancient Chinese art of Face Reading offers some interesting insights.

Whether one looks at photos or watches him in action his features tend to be quite animated. This is both indicative of a lively mind and a reluctance to be pinned down. It is reasonable to assume he would be publicly scathing of any attempt to analyze him!

His V-shaped hairline is associated in men with an innate capacity for solving complex problems. The resultant ‘flaring’ of the forehead to the sides can also indicate a tendency towards mediocrity. O’Leary has been known to issue flatly contradictory statements with no apparent concern for consistency. In his view it would appear that publicity of any description trumps all.

The depth of the horizontal furrows across his forehead reveals a man who is quite self-aware. This is someone who has faced more than a few challenges and is comfortable making clear decisions. As his forehead is largely vertical we can take it that most of those decisions will be based on analysis and rational thinking rather than being governed by emotion.

His eyebrows are thick and are close to being an inverted V-shape. The thickness shows his capacity to absorb considerable amounts of information, and the V denotes his autocratic nature, which is especially evident in public. There is a slightly rounded dimension to the V so we can also assume that some of his more abrasive public utterances are designed to trigger publicity and allow him have fun. A cluster of vertical hairs at the beginning of each eyebrow represent his ability to spot potential problems from the outset of any project. Given his outspoken nature we can be sure he will express his views forcibly. It may not always make him popular with colleagues but more often than not he’ll be proven right.

Eyebrows sitting close above the eyes as his frequently are denote someone impatient to speak and likely to do so before their thoughts are fully formed. They tend to have very little patience with anyone who is long-winded or unprepared.

His eyes vary wildly from being wide open to being narrow slits. As a rule we regard wide open eyes as a sign of emotional openness. In O’Leary’s case they appear more like a disruptive child challenging authority. More often than not his gaze is quite direct but largely conceals his feelings. The lack of visible fold in his upper eyelid is a strong indication of his lack of sympathy towards complaints.

“You’re not getting a refund so fuck off. We don’t want to hear your sob stories. What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?”

The above statement is similar in tone to many others over the years. My observation is that it is reflective of his worldview. His business life started at a young age when he spotted retail opportunities. Being self-sufficient and self-reliant has become part of his modus operandi, and he expects the same of others. Complaining about regulatory bodies is a matter of strategy. Personal complaints are another matter entirely.

When we see ‘hooded eyelids’ we might be advised to tread carefully as their owner most certainly has a temper which they are not slow to express.

The triangular shape at the bridge of the nose is, amongst other things a sign of his competitive nature. It may also be associated with self-imposed pressure. O’Leary will undoubtedly have expectations of himself and set challenging targets. It is not in his nature to simply sit back and watch the world go by.

His nose is straight and the tip is not very rounded. The nostrils are large and visible when viewing him face to face. This combination of features confirms his directness of manner and tells us he deals in facts over emotion. We can also see that he enjoys spending money, but is likely to be quite discerning in his choices.

There is an old Irish saying that a gap between the upper front teeth is a sign of a good singer. Never having heard O’Leary sing I can neither confirm nor deny that. The Chinese view is that such a gap indicates a willingness to take financial risks. After 9/11 when the world of air travel was in turmoil O’Leary backed his confidence in an upturn by placing a large order with Boeing. This at a time when airline revenues were plummeting.

A thin upper lip is added confirmation of his head over heart approach. His chin is well-formed and juts forward slightly. This is not a man to give way or back down easily. His stubbornness has helped take him a long way. Whether the current problems around scheduling, angry passengers, and pilots making demands prove it to be an asset or a liability remains to be seen.

Clowns have traditionally been regarded as a great source of entertainment. More recently they have come to be seen by many as a scary phenomenon. O’Leary probably veers between the two for many who observe his performances.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:

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To Spot Bullies and Fraudsters – Watch the Eyes

                    ‘The people who have power over me, I give it to them’-Chinese proverb

In recent years across the globe we have instance after instance of business leaders and politicians falling from grace due to unethical behaviour. Bullying and fraud frequently go hand in hand. The causes of both behaviours are many and varied, and it is not my intention to investigate them here. My concern here is solely with spotting the signs and ensuring we do not expose ourselves to the pain and trauma of either.

Bullies and fraudsters invariably present a confident and often overpowering image. When we meet anyone like that who presents a proposition which claims to bring us great advantage or gain I strongly advise taking a deep breath and a step back to review.  Some key questions are:

  • Has this person clearly demonstrated their trustworthiness and credibility?
  • Who do I know and trust who can verify this?
  • Do I feel intimidated or pressurised?
  • Have I been fooled before?
  • Can I afford to lose my investment?

Remaining calm and relaxed is vital to ensuring we are not seduced by false prophets. We should also polish up our observational skills. Bullies and fraudsters are especially observant. Their eyes are alert for clues as to who will be a likely victim. Being calm and alert will allow you to spot them coming, and a key clue is in the eyes. In particular what we consistently see with fraudsters and bullies is a distinct coldness. Below is a series of eyes belonging to infamous characters from business and 1 from the world of sport. They share varying degrees of coldness, and one has an added dimension of anger. How many can you identify?

ABernardMadoff eyes

B Jeffrey_Skilling_eyes



ELance Armstrong eyes

The answers in order are: A) Bernie Madoff, B) Jeffrey Skilling, C) Ken Lay, D) Jordan Belfort, and  E) Lance Armstrong

It requires confidence to look someone clearly in the eyes and remain focused. Fraudsters in particular like to create doubt and confusion. It is always better to cultivate calmness, stay grounded and keep our intuition on alert – and practice, practice, practice your observational skills!

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:

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Saoirse Ronan – A Face Reading Profile

Saoirse_Ronan_at_2014_Berlin_Film_Festival.jpg by Siebbi

                                                                    (Photo Credit Siebbi)

Saoirse Ronan’s face is essentially oval in shape, which we associate with an innate talent for diplomacy, and a definite preference for harmony in both her personal and professional environments. It is natural for her to get along well with others. It should not, however be assumed that she is a pushover, as her features are strong and clear.

Her wide curved forehead shows a combination of analytical and creative abilities. She is an able student who absorbs information to then adapt it to her future needs. The short ‘widow’s peak’ (v-shape) at the centre of her hairline has particular significance for women. A la Marilyn Monroe she has the ability to make an internal switch which draws admirers to her like moths to a flame.

Her upper right cheekbone is prominent, meaning she has high energy levels and is ambitious. It will be important for her to be acknowledged by her peers. Her right jaw is also fuller than the left. This reveals that she possesses an extra degree of determination to succeed – she shares this trait with notable Irish sporting figures Rory McIlroy, Brian O’Driscoll and Roy Keane. When called on to perform demanding physical roles she has the capacity to thrive.

As her lower cheekbones are quite full we can see that she is naturally very empathetic, further emphasising her innate capacity to get on well with others. This will also add extra depth to her understanding of the roles she plays. She will have the capacity to sit quietly and observe, soaking up knowledge and storing it for future use.

Her eyes sparkle, revealing her great vitality, physical mental and emotional. Both eyes tend to be wide open which tells us that honesty is vitally important to her. Any indication of dishonesty towards her will result in people being frozen out. Both upper eyelids reveal a thick fold. This refers both to the importance of emotional intimacy and to the fact that she has a strong ego – certainly needed in her chosen profession! She will, however get her way by charming much more than by being demanding.

Her right eyebrow is curved while the left is almost straight. What this indicates is that even when she is warm and friendly – and genuinely so – she is observing and gathering information. When left untrimmed her left eyebrow also has a small cluster of hairs at the beginning which stand up. This reveals a trait for spotting potential problems at a very early stage of a project. It will not necessarily make her popular but she will usually be right!


Her nose is well proportioned and uniform in width. She will have no difficulty speaking up and expressing herself and will be clear about her values. Her nose tip is not especially large so although she is naturally warm she will not lose her heart easily. Her mouth naturally turns up at the corners revealing her to be an optimist. The lips form a rosebud shape which is indicative of her sensual nature.  There is some puffiness below her lower lip so there is a likelihood of her holding stress in the area of the colon. Any lingering physical discomfort in this region should be seen as an indication she should step back and check her current overall wellbeing.

Her chin is rounded, well-formed and slightly prominent. This is further confirmation of her sociability, values and determination. Creating goodwill will greatly enhance her career.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:

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5 Visual Clues Your Best People are Thinking about Leaving

Frustrated_man_at_a_desk.jpg Author LaurMG

How attentive are you to the everyday world around you? Every day there are visual and other clues as to how those in the workplace around us are feeling, and by extension performing. Employee retention is an increasingly hot topic. Many companies concerned about the issue seem to be very slow in either recognizing the signs of employee dissatisfaction or dealing with the underlying issues.

Overbearing, unappreciative or incompetent bosses are just three potential factors and I’ll address these in other articles. For now I’ll focus on 5 visual clues that indicate your best people are not happy and may be considering leaving. The potential costs of not spotting the clues and engaging with the employee are considerable. You are faced with not just the disruption to current projects, but also re-hiring and training costs, potential impact on morale and performance of other staff, and impact on customer relationships. Altogether an unappealing prospect!

We all suffer at times from ‘inattentional blindness’ where we are simply not alert to what is clearly visible in our immediate environment. Here are 5 common visual clues that people around you are not happy:

Dark circles under the eyes. This indicates physical, mental and emotional fatigue. The darker the circles the more chronic the issue. They appear over a period of time and show an individual who is in effect running to keep up. Even if they are not immediately thinking of leaving their motivation and enthusiasm levels are likely to have dropped significantly. As their boss it is advisable to monitor their needs – not just their performance – and demonstrate consistent support and appreciation. If you want to keep them this really is not negotiable.


Increased vertical furrows between the eyebrows. Again developing over a period of time these reflect a higher level of internal pressure and self-criticism. As these lines also relate to hypoglycaemia we might expect to see patterns of irritability, and either indecision or impulsive decision making.

tony-blair forehead


Tension in the jaw. This is visible at the sides of the face – physical therapists often refer to TMJ (Temporo Mandibular Joint) syndrome- as if the muscles are being sucked taut. They may mention grinding their teeth at night. Either way we can take it that they are holding in a good deal of anger which may be released in one big explosion. Even if nothing in the work environment is a causative factor this condition will impact on both individual work performance and relationships with colleagues. An attentive and skilled HR professional can be priceless in this situation.

malcolmx_angry large crop

Slumped or lethargic posture in someone who is normally outgoing and energetic. This is indicative of a general loss of energy, interest and enthusiasm – possibly even depression. Alert and pro-active managers will take such individuals aside and calmly and gently probe for clues, making sure to demonstrate – and not just talk about- their support. Being seen and heard, especially if the support is consistent will make a real difference.


The eyes are ultimately the biggest clue. The visual here is of a U.S. marine with what has become known as the ‘thousand yard stare’. Obviously this is not specific to a typical workplace environment, but variations on such a look are very common in individuals who have become disinterested or demotivated. Other than in intimate situations we tend not to spend much time looking closely into the eyes of another being. A skilled Face Reader will notice quickly whether or not ‘the lights are on’. Eyes which are normally bright but which have lost their sparkle reveal an individual who is struggling. Once again the cause may or may not be work related but their condition will impact on their work.

Thousand Yard Stare WW2_Marine_after_Eniwetok_assault

If only one of these visual clues is present it should not be taken as a sign that the individual intends to leave. If you see a cluster you need to pay attention. Either way the individual will benefit from a consistent demonstration of support and appreciation. As their energy levels, motivation and enthusiasm are raised your business will see the benefits in key areas such as performance, teamwork, customer engagement, and reduced absenteeism. All of that has the potential to reduce your costs and increase your profits.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:

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Matt Damon – a Face Reading Profile


(This is the latest in a series of celebrity profiles)

Everybody is interesting if we take the time to discover. Matt Damon though has a particularly interesting face with many contrasts. The right side of the individuals face reveals their public persona, and their left side their private persona. With Damon we can see distinct differences between both sides. This reflects that his public and private personas can be quite different, and this allows him to look at life from a variety of perspectives.

His hairline comes almost to a V-shape. In men we associate this with a capacity to solve complex problems quickly. In Damon’s case the V is not absolutely clearly defined. This suggests that his mid-teens were quite a challenging time for him – not that that is unusual – and that his creative abilities felt stymied.

His high forehead indicates he is someone who needs a great deal of mental stimulation to feed his creative juices. Boredom is not an option! His eyebrows are at different heights, which again suggests different public and private perspectives. The right eyebrow sits higher than the left, and if anything his right eye is more open. This indicates he is quite comfortable in the spotlight although, as his gaze is questioning, we see that he is not easily impressed by fame and all that comes with it. Early professional success with Ben Affleck in ‘Good Will Hunting’ may have allowed him to peek behind the curtain and view the wizard for what he is!

His left eye being less open reflects the fact that challenges in his personal life have caused him to develop a strong protective core. This will be extended to family and those close to him. His long eyebrows reflect the importance of family in his life. The left eye angles slightly downwards at the outside corner telling us that he feels a strong bond with those less privileged.

His nose is triangular in shape, with a horizontal line across the bridge. The line shows that he is conscientious and takes his responsibilities seriously. The bridge of his nose dips slightly. He prefers to put a shape on his ideas before conferring with others. Once he has clarified what he wants he can really build up momentum, and as he sees things coming together his energy levels and enthusiasm can skyrocket.

His mouth is slightly wavy and a little higher on the left. The waviness can be associated with variable judgement – he has made some dodgy choices in his film roles – and the slight tilt to the left reflects strongly held private views.

His jaw is noticeably wider on the right. This reflects both the determination and energy he brings to all public activities, but also the need for regular stimulating physical activity. This is something he will neglect at his peril as he would become quite frustrated with himself and this in turn could easily spread into close relationships!

His chin is not especially prominent in the overall context of his face. It is rounded and juts out a little. His ideals are very important to him, and it is natural for him to be supportive of causes. He will do best when he engages his brainpower rather than trying to force his ideas through with physical strength.

The notch behind the tragus (flap of cartilage) of his left ear is quite open, revealing his generosity to those closest to him. The anti-helix (inner rim) of both ears is prominent. This tells us that he will always be a man with definite views of his own, even if they don’t match with mainstream opinion.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:


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Ellen DeGeneres – a Face Reading Profile

Ellen_DeGeneres- Wikimedia commons

(This is the first in a series of celebrity profiles)

Her face shape is largely oval, meaning she is a natural diplomat. The oval shape tells us that she has a deep-rooted inclination and preference for harmony, both in her relationships – professional and personal – and her environment.

There is a slightly rectangular dimension to her forehead, which means she likes structure and will work best when she has at least the outline of a plan. As the forehead curves at the sides we can see that she is not comfortable with rigid systems or structures. Being flexible and having scope to adapt allows her to give of her best.

As her hairline comes in above the temple, especially on the left we can reveal that she has a deeply ingrained work ethic. It will be important to her to set high standards and to finish what she starts.

Her eyebrows are more straight than curved. This means she can be quite rational and is not naturally inclined to be overly sentimental. Anyone pitching ideas to her should think them through carefully first as she will not be impressed by sloppiness in presentation. She is unlikely to be cruelly dismissive but anyone given a second chance should be in no doubt that she expects them to demonstrate clearly that what they are proposing makes good sense.

Her nose is long, and nicely proportioned. This denotes both strength of personality and consistency of behaviour. Although she comes across as warm and friendly we can be clear that she is no pushover. There is real strength of character here. Her nose tip extends beyond the nostrils, meaning she can be exceptionally patient, and that being of service is hugely important to her. The slight cleft in the tip indicates that she will always be searching for either something better or a better way to express her essential nature. She will never rest on her laurels.

Her eyes are bright and quite open. This is someone whose public persona of a warm, friendly and sociable woman is quite genuine. Connecting with and relating to others is an innate expression of her being. Both upper eyelids show a thick fold, demonstrating that she has an ego. In her profession it would be difficult to survive without one. Her wide open eyes mitigate any potential diva like behaviour. Honesty will be particularly important to her. Treat her with dishonesty at your peril as you are likely to be shown the door quite quickly.

There are lines both below the eyes and just below the outer corners of the eyes. The former refer to stress and tiredness, and she would be advised to ensure that she pays attention to both the quality and quantity of her rest. The lines across the upper outer cheeks are known as courage lines. These are likely to relate to that period of both personal and professional strain after she came out publicly as gay. She has faced significant life challenges and come through. These lines are the battle scars!

The fullest part of both cheeks is the lower half, denoting her empathetic nature. That fullness extends down to her jaw, meaning she is comfortable with money and the nicer material things in life. When it comes to negotiation she will know her value!

Her mouth is reasonably wide without being overly so. She is very comfortable expressing herself, so her chosen career is ideal. Her upper lip is relatively straight, suggesting she has learned to guard against being overly vulnerable in the public arena. Although as stated she is naturally warm she is aware of the need to protect herself.

Her two upper front teeth are slightly larger than their neighbours so we can see that she has a stubborn streak. When she smiles her gums are visible. This tells us that she has a generous nature, but will certainly remember if someone is not appreciative of her generosity.

Her chin is curved, slightly prominent and well formed. She has strong ideals, is very determined and will not be pushed around. Her warm presence may lead some to underestimate her strength but that can play to her advantage. There is a horizontal line midway between mouth and chin. This reveals that she has a tendency to mother others i.e. to do for them things they could and should do for themselves. This is reflective of her caring nature, but is a tendency others may be inclined to take advantage of. She would be well advised to take a close look at this pattern as it could be quite draining.

Although obviously not on the face the ears are significant in terms of reading faces. In Ellen’s case we can see that the right ear in particular protrudes. This indicates that she will tend to have quite an individual perspective. At times it could mean an inclination to make her mind up before having all the information – not always the best strategy! As both ears are relatively long we can expect that she will be with us for many years to come. Larger ears are, amongst other things associated with resilience. Both ears have nicely sized lobes, so her spiritual life will provide a major part of her nurturing. Her lobes also indicate strong intuition.

All in all a potent package!

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:

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5 Key Behavioural Indications when Reading Faces

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There are many facial clues to personality and behavioural traits. Over 30 years of study and practice in reading faces leaves me in no doubt that we can gain deep insights through clear and skilled observation. Learning to read the clues accurately can assist us greatly in any interpersonal engagement. It is an invaluable skill when used in HR, recruitment, sales and negotiation.

Here are 5 commonly seen facial features and what they mean:

1 – Vertical line between the eyebrows

rupert-murdoch-vertical crease (Mobile)

A single clear and distinct vertical line rising from between the eyebrows has a number of particular meanings. It indicates that the individual is likely to have a lifelong challenge of managing their blood-sugar levels. Failure to do so will result in hypoglycaemia (low blood-sugar), which in turn leads to mood swings, irritability, and fluctuating performance levels. Such an individual is also likely to have distinct perfectionist traits, and be highly self-critical, all of which can impact on both personal and professional relationships. If you’re negotiating with this person try to make sure they have eaten beforehand so that their blood-sugar levels are stable! A particularly long line is associated with a ruthless streak!

Example: Rupert Murdoch

2- The Unibrow

Ronnie O'Sullivan eyebrows 1

It has traditionally been said that one should never trust someone with a unibrow – also known as a monobrow. It is more likely that they will be slow to trust others, and will tend to remember real or perceived slights for a long time. They tend to have overactive minds, to the extent of frequently suffering from insomnia. Learning to relax is a huge challenge for them. Stubbornness is another typical trait, and they can become quite attached to fixed ideas.

Examples: Ronnie O’Sullivan, Noel Gallagher

3- Eyebrows angled downwards

Steve Jobs eyebrows

Eyebrows – especially the one on the right – which are angled down towards the nose, or shaped like an inverted V are associated with an autocratic personality. These people have very strong views, will express them with passion and expect to be obeyed. They will be quite direct in challenging others and tend only to be aware afterwards of the emotional impact their behaviour has on others. When dealing with such individuals you will need to have your preparation done and be willing to stand up for your views.

Examples: Steve Jobs, Tony Blair

4 – Triangular Shaped Nose

martin-mcguinness nose

A triangular shaped nose is indicative of someone who prefers to formulate their ideas alone before conferring with colleagues. Having thought things through in depth they will not usually be easily swayed from their views. They also tend to build up momentum as a project takes off and can be, and be seen as a major driving force.

Example: Martin McGuinness

5 – The Fleshy Mound

Donald Trump macho knob

This refers to a three dimensional fleshy mound between the lower lip and the chin. It may be seen as being like a pressure valve. Such individuals tend to have very high energy levels and need to let off steam when the levels become too high. This frequently manifests itself in bursts of childish and unpredictable behaviour, even to the point of being self-destructive eg over indulgence in alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex. One U.S. face reader has referred to this feature as a ‘macho knob’, and such individuals generally like to demonstrate their manliness – at least as they see it. They tend to expect to be liked.

Examples: Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump Jr.

This is just a few examples of key facial features and their meaning. I’ll be sharing more in future articles.

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Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:


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Seeing Clearly – beyond Bias and Expectation

smartphone-1790835_1920 (Mobile)

Despite all the current debate around AI, human relationships in both the professional and personal sphere are and will remain vital for success and wellbeing.

We know that we form impressions of others in a fraction of a second, based on a limbic system legacy of checking for foes or friends. Responding based on first impressions or pre- conceptions can lead to missed opportunities, regardless of whether those first impressions are positive or negative.

A recent experiment for an ad campaign illustrated the mistakes we can make by forming pre-conceptions of the person before us. Six photographers were each given a different backstory for their subject – none of which were true. Each photographer based their portrait on the story, and perceived the subject to be the ex-convict, drug addict etc he had been presented as. See the video below:

We are all prone to bias in many forms, and it is probably impossible for humans to drop it altogether.  Whether we realize it or not we are continually broadcasting a wealth of information about ourselves just by turning up. Our facial features, expressions, posture and body language tell the world who and how we are. The shape of the face in itself frames the story. The features, lines, angles and colours literally flesh out the details. My role as a profiler, whether I work with individuals or companies requires me to be as objective and empathetic as possible.


As per the above quote, allowing ourselves to really see and get to know the other person creates the possibility for us to like and trust each other. Please note that I would always advise against being naive. That something looks good doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Having gathered your evidence I recommend you to test it.  The strongest and most durable relationships will be able to survive tests and challenges.

Having a background in meditation helps me enter into an internal silence where I can simply allow the information to present itself. Rather than looking for anything in particular I start from the viewpoint that every individual has potentially interesting qualities. When profiling a candidate for recruitment/promotion or a potential client the process is by definition more clinical. Any information I glean must be directly relevant to the needs of my client.

When profiling a private client empathy plays a bigger role. Even highly successful individuals have doubts and insecurities. My role there is to help them identify their strengths with greater clarity, allowing them to present and communicate with an increased sense of purpose and confidence.

We live in an increasingly busy world with great demands on our time and attention. Allowing ourselves to step back even momentarily opens up great new opportunities to connect and build deep relationships. How about giving yourself that gift? The rewards are likely to be substantial.

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Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:

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Merkel and May: Showing the pressure – the Human Dimension

Merkel and May 1



Perhaps understandably we tend to see politicians as different from us. They frequently speak in jargon, frustrate by their unwillingness to answer questions, and can be ‘economical with the truth’! They can appear to form clubs for self-congratulation. Even in smaller communities many politicians will be at pains to set themselves apart.

Yet, despite all of that they are human. It is my own view that in their quest for power and in separating themselves they pay a heavy price. Reducing or hiding the human dimension, whatever the reason comes at a cost. Even a brief look at the faces of Theresa May and Angela Merkel shows clear signs of the physical, mental and emotional strains they experience. How clearly they recognise or acknowledge those strains only they can answer.

Both show a surfeit of lines and dark circles under the eyes. Some may view these as a natural part of the ageing process. My own observation is that although they may have become normal in today’s world they are neither inevitable nor natural. Such deep lines combined with darkness reflect deep fatigue throughout our being. When they are present it becomes harder and harder to maintain anything like optimal performance levels. We then need to dig ever deeper into our energy reserves – which we are not replenishing – and use willpower to push us onwards. As research shows that willpower is in limited supply we are dealing with the law of ever diminishing returns!

These lines also tend to reflect deep sadness. In Merkel’s case we can also see clear lines from the corners of the mouth to the chin. These indicate a series of disappointments which have impacted deeply on her. Her prominent and well-developed chin reveals her stubborn and determined nature, meaning she is likely to push on regardless. Her hairline – seldom fully visible – shows a powerful work ethic and helps ensure that she always intends to finish what she starts. Unlike Theresa May her eyes display warmth. For all the ruthlessness she demonstrated in earlier years she cares deeply. The key question is how long her batteries can sustain!

One particularly noticeable difference between Merkel and May is in their respective face shapes. Merkel’s face is more rounded and fuller. This is associated with both an inner resilience – ‘bouncebackability’ after setbacks – and a capacity to disarm opposition by not being perceived as a threat. May, on the other hand has a narrower face.  We associate her face shape more with a focus on detail rather than people. As her face narrows somewhat from the upper cheekbones down we can deduce that her energy levels will not be constant. Peak performance for her is not sustainable. Regular timeouts will be required to recharge, and these may not be available given the nature of her job. Learning to take power naps would be highly advisable.

As mentioned, Theresa May’s eyes lack warmth – and not just in the above photo! Hers reflect a colder and more calculating nature – note that she was a ‘Remainer’ on the Brexit question – whose ambition will win her few true friends. The lack of upper eyelid fold is further confirmation that people skills don’t come naturally to her. The corners of her mouth are invariably turned down, reflecting a quality of pessimism. When she smiles her gums are visible. We may take from that that she will expect acts of generosity on her part to be clearly acknowledged. If this doesn’t happen she will certainly remember those who failed to show appreciation. Her nose is also thinner than Merkel’s, meaning she will be much more sensitive to criticism – hardly advisable for a prominent politician!

The purpose of this article is not ultimately to focus on politicians or even particular individuals. They merely serve as reminders that every choice costs, and the reminders of those costs leave visible traces. The lines etc referred to are examples of what is reflected and where. The deeper the lines the deeper the impact of the experiences. There is a tradition in Japan of referring to such lines as ‘character building experiences’. Our own internal processing and the actions resulting show how well we have interpreted and integrated the lessons.

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Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email:

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U.S. Presidents – Faces of Power?

FILE - 5 SEPTEMBER 2012: The 2012 Democratic National Convention began yesterday with former US Preseident Bill Clinton taking to the stage this evening to speak. The November 6, 2012 elections will decide between US Presidential Candidates Barack Obama (L) and Mitt Romney. For a look back at the last 100 years of US Presidential races. Please refer to the following profile on Getty Images Archival for further imagery: (FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between former US Presidential Candidates John F Kennedy (L) and Richard Nixon. In 1960 John F Kennedy won the presidential election to become the President of the United States. ***LEFT IMAGE*** 1960: Senator John F Kennedy, the Democratic candidate smiles on November 9, 1060. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** 1960: American politician Richard Nixon looks up on July 19, 1969. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 150262549
November 9, 1060. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Even in this hi-tech world our faces are an integral part of our brand. Those we meet form impressions of us in micro-seconds. As part of my profession I assess people based on their facial features, micro-expressions and their body language. I do this to help clients make clear and informed decisions about who they hire and who they’re doing business with. Often I don’t have the opportunity to sit across from someone so I must form a detailed and accurate impression of their personality and behaviour style from their photograph. This might sound impossible but you can tell a great deal about someone from their photo.

Instinctively and historically we have tended to associate particular features with leadership and trustworthiness. A classic example of this came in the U.S. presidential campaign of 1960. This was the first time the candidates were shown debating live on TV. John F. Kennedy recognised the power of the medium and was amenable to the requests of the studio people, including wearing makeup. Richard Nixon in contrast was ill, wasn’t taking his medication, and refused to wear makeup, on the grounds that it was unmanly! (Anyone appearing on TV nowadays will know the importance of makeup.) During the debate Nixon perspired and looked unshaven, whereas Kennedy appeared youthful, relaxed and energetic. The TV debate was regarded as being a decisive factor in a close run election. Interestingly a survey of radio listeners made Nixon a clear winner of the debate. A clear case of pictures painting a thousand words!

Donald Trump (Mobile)

More recently Donald Trump became the 45th POTUS. Over many years he has crafted a public image of himself as a powerful, decisive and no-nonsense business leader, with exaggerated body language to match. This image helped to impress a high enough percentage of the electoral college for him to be elected. A closer look at his facial features provides a much more detailed profile of his personality. Trump has a relatively square face, which the Chinese refer to as an Iron face – a trait he shared with Winston Churchill. This shape is associated with great stamina, a very strong will, and a tendency to rely on strong instincts – which are often accurate. His bone structure is strong, and coupled with his large nose indicates that he will be an imposing personality with very strong drives – He will invariably speak his mind. The dip at the bridge of the nose shows his lack of patience with meetings.

His eyes are usually narrowed, and where this is not as a consequence of visual impairment it is a likely sign of a calculating personality. (NB – Ultimately the eyes are the most important part of Face Reading. In western culture making eye contact is important, and we should pay close attention to the message we get from the eyes. In the case of Donald Trump there is very rarely any warmth evident, so we can be clear that he acts primarily in his own interests.)The thick upper eyelid folds are a sign of a large ego. The left eyelid fold is noticeably thicker, meaning that his ego will be more pronounced in his private life. The inner angle of the left eye is more acute than the right eye, so his temper will be quite evident to those living with him. The 3-dimensional fleshy bump on his chin is associated with bursts of impulsive, unpredictable and even childish behaviour which will frequently be a means of demonstrating his macho side.

In our increasingly busy world we can become accustomed to brief glances, leading to what psychologists refer to as ‘inattentional blindness’. It pays to take a little more time and care to see the details and discover who we’re really dealing with and prepare accordingly.


Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email: