Business to Business

5 Visual Clues Your Best People are Thinking about Leaving

by Joseph McGuire on 23rd August 2017 Comments Off on 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.

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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.

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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: info@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuire5 Visual Clues Your Best People are Thinking about Leaving

5 Key Behavioural Indications when Reading Faces

by Joseph McGuire on 7th August 2017 Comments Off on 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: info@clearsightcommunications.com

 

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Joseph McGuire5 Key Behavioural Indications when Reading Faces

Seeing Clearly – beyond Bias and Expectation

by Joseph McGuire on 31st July 2017 Comments Off on 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.

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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: info@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuireSeeing Clearly – beyond Bias and Expectation

U.S. Presidents – Faces of Power?

by Joseph McGuire on 10th July 2017 Comments Off on 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: https://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=150262549&EditorialProduct=Archival#esource=maplinARC_uki_sep12 (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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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: info@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuireU.S. Presidents – Faces of Power?

Pay Attention to Detect Deception

by Joseph McGuire on 18th March 2015 Comments Off on Pay Attention to Detect Deception

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Deception leaves a bitter taste, and is destructive of relationships, reputations and credibility. Unfortunately in recent years we have seen all too frequent attempts at deception in the public arena, often under the heading of ‘spin’. Corporations, governments and media, sometimes acting in tandem have striven to gain advantage by mis-representing or denying factual evidence. It is short term thinking at best, and thankfully there is a growing awareness of the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility. Let’s hope it forms deep roots.

Over many years cinema has presented us with numerous examples of characters out to deceive. Some personal favourites in recent times are ‘The Usual Suspects’, ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘Insomnia’ and ‘Thank You for Smoking’. The reasons for deceit varied considerably, but the performances were all convincing – as one would expect from accomplished actors. In real life – unless one is a sociopath or psychopath – we are likely to leave a trail of both verbal and non-verbal clues pointing to any attempts to deceive. The key to spotting deception is to become observant enough to note the discrepancies of language and behaviour which act as ‘red flags’.

There is a great deal of mis-information in the public arena about Body Language, especially around this topic, and there are very few gestures which definitively indicate deception. The following sequence or cluster of movements tested in MIT and North Eastern University has been shown to conclusively reveal lying, when done in this order in this order:

  • Touching ones hand
  • Touching ones face
  • Folding ones arms
  • Leaning back

Of course there any many more indicators to look out for. If our suspicions are aroused when interviewing or negotiating we should be alert for sudden or incongruous gestures, movements, or changes in breathing patterns. If we spot any such changes it is important to note where in the conversation they have occurred and what issue was being discussed. Rather than automatically assume that this is a clear sign of deceit we should bring the conversation back to non-contentious issues for a few minutes to allow for a return to a relaxed posture. Only then should we return to the topic which triggered the initial gestures etc. If they are repeated we can then begin to probe directly to discover the underlying cause. It may or may not be deception, but it will certainly be a significant stress factor which can prevent a successful outcome. Double checking like this is important. It both prevents us from jumping to conclusions and clarifies that we have hit a ‘hot’ topic. A one-off shift in posture may be down to physical discomfort or itchy clothing.

Politicians

Politicians are a fascinating study when we look at Body Language, and they frequently reveal very deceptive behaviour. Perhaps the best known example was Bill Clinton denying that he had had “a sexual relationship with that woman…..Miss Lewinsky!” As he spoke he provided two visual clues and one verbal clue that he was lying. He is famously left-handed, but he gestured with his right hand. At the same time he looked to his left, distancing himself from his gesture.

bill-clinton-denies-affair.jpg.custom1200x675x20.dimg (Mobile)

His reference to “that woman….Miss Lewinsky” was an example of further distancing himself from what had clearly been a very intimate relationship, and is a typical verbal tic used when lying. (For a fuller list of verbal indications of lying look up ‘Statement Validity Assessment’, drawn up by German psychologists. This is an invaluable tool.)

To practice your deception-spotting skills I recommend watching politicians when they are making apparently emotional speeches. If you know which is their dominant hand check if that is the one they are using to gesture with e.g. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are left-handed. Watch the speech first with the sound on, then rewind and watch with the sound off. In particular pay attention to the eyes and the mouth. You may well spot fleeting glimpses, known as micro-expressions, of smiles and smirks, in which case these are red flags – but hopefully your politicians are honest!

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: info@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuirePay Attention to Detect Deception

Your Body Speaks Volumes

by Joseph McGuire on 16th January 2015 Comments Off on Your Body Speaks Volumes

The above picture is a classic illustration of postures of dominance and submission, as head of the IMF Christine Lagarde met then Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos.Of course one picture cannot tell the full story, but if ever a picture painted a thousand words this one did! Christine Lagarde’s posture exudes confidence, and confidence is a vital ingredient in both facing the challenges on the road to becoming successful, and maintaining that success when we achieve it. (For more on the topic of posture and confidence see Amy Cuddy’s excellent talk on TED.com)

In every meeting our bodies reveal a great deal about us, and we can choose to let that work for or against us. We can all cultivate confidence, no matter what our background and personal history may be. True confidence allows us to relax, to accept our imperfections, and present our strengths in a positive and grounded fashion. Despite any impression given by the above photo, it is about allowing us to connect, rather than dominate. In reality each meeting is a dynamic experience, where – even if seated – our bodily movements express many aspects of our story.

I’m reminded of my Aikido classes of many years ago. Aikido is described as ‘the Way of Harmony’. The objective of each encounter is to use the momentum of any aggressor to gently disarm him/her and restore a state of peace. One does this from a place of relaxed, alert confidence, focused on the most positive outcome. It is calm and respectful, but in no way weak!

aikido1 (Mobile)

No matter the personality type we are dealing with, presenting ourselves with true, relaxed and alert confidence allows us to adapt our posture and behaviour – without compromising our values –  to the needs of the situation. Sometimes it will be clear that the best option is to simply walk away. More often than not, however, we find that the commitment we have made to ourselves draws others to us, creating opportunities to explore the mutual benefits of using our services. That alone is a powerful aid to success. Now let the dance of negotiations begin!

tango1 (Mobile)

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: info@clearsightcommunications.com

 

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Joseph McGuireYour Body Speaks Volumes

Sealing the Deal – Face to Face!

by Joseph McGuire on 24th November 2014 Comments Off on Sealing the Deal – Face to Face!

“All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”-Bob Burg

No matter what our job or profession, we’re all involved in sales. There are many different approaches, but the end goal remains the same, persuading the customer to part with their money. Sometimes we need make no great effort. The customer knows what he/she wants, and just buys it. We should, however, always remain alert, to ensure that potential translates into business. A key question then arises. Is a one-off sale sufficient, or do we wish to build something more than a superficial connection, with the prospect of repeat business?

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Joseph McGuireSealing the Deal – Face to Face!

Missing the Connection? Open Your Eyes!

by Joseph McGuire on 24th November 2014 Comments Off on Missing the Connection? Open Your Eyes!

“What we have here is a failure to communicate”- Cool Hand Luke

Very few of us have all the business we could possibly want or cope with. To boost sales we join networks, attend gatherings and conferences, and arrange one-to-one meetings. Yet the amount of time invested, and the conversion rate from possibility to profitability is frequently too modest to satisfy.  At times there may be little or no fit between the businesses, and we say thank you and move on. Other times, however, we almost get a deal done, but an elusive ’something’ intrudes and blocks the way, and it is not necessarily down to price, presentation or sales technique.

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Joseph McGuireMissing the Connection? Open Your Eyes!