Learn to Read People
We have to learn how to read other people, and I do think that people can be read kind of like a book. If you watch closely, and you can learn, because people are very predictable, and they act out of habit. We all do. So if you can learn what someone else's habits are, and notice, "Oh, they seem to say that same thing over "and over and over, so what does that mean about them?" And then, "What does that mean about how I need to respond "to them in order to get what I need from them?" So you may have to experiment with different behaviors or different requests or different modes of communication in order to get what you need from each and every different person once you've read them like a book. Now, also, reading body language, I think, is important, because this is when someone is very closed, or someone is open, or someone is kind of turning the other way, these are all things that you can pay attention to, and part of noticing something new, as opposed to focusing on what's going o...
n in your head. So you can learn to read and also speak body language, and I have a little tip coming up in the networking section, actually, about how to get out of conversations using body language, so stay tuned for that. And then, I just wanna make a comment about personality tests, because I think that when we talk about getting to know ourselves and getting to know other people, I'm not a big fan of personality tests, because I think they put us in boxes. And so if we decide, "Oh, I'm a this or I'm a that," then that means that you can't do or be these other ways, so they might be good for you to better understand yourself, but please try not to use them to analyze other people, because I don't think that's gonna help a lot. So the number one tool of curiosity is questions, as I've said. So when in doubt, ask a question, because you may interpret the same word very differently from another person who hears the exact same word. So if there's ever a doubt about what a word means or what a task means, please ask a question. And you may say to yourself, "Oh, that's a stupid question," or, "Oh, I should already know the answer to that question," but I think you'll be better off asking the question, potentially sounding stupid, and you can even preface it with, "This may be a stupid question, but," but you can avoid a lot of miscommunication if you take that extra time, and I think it's also part of laziness. I know that when I used to not ask certain questions, it was because, "Uh, it's not gonna matter," as if I know, or, "Uh, it won't be a problem," as if I know, and then it was. So don't think you know, and don't be afraid to look stupid. Instead of stating a fact, you can ask a question. So an example is when you're waiting for content, for example, from someone, and you didn't get it, and you think, they didn't send me the content, you could, instead of saying, "You didn't send the content," you can say, "Did you send the content?" Or, "If you sent the content, I didn't get it," so thinking first and reframing the question so that the person will receive it most openly, knowing who they are based on their past behavior. And then you can also verify with a question. Even if you think you know the answer, I think it can be very disarming, so you could say something like, "Are you aware that you didn't send me your feedback on that project yet?" Because people are very busy, and they've got a lot going on, and they may have written the email message and forgotten to send it. And so they thought they sent it, but you didn't get it, and this happens constantly. So verifying with a question will, I think, save you a lot of time.