I have been a practitioner of facial analytics for 12 years and it has been an invaluable skill to me in many areas of business. I have used it to find business associates and partners. I have consulted for corporations giving feedback on important hires. I used my skills on television to help someone who had a 14 year memory loss. I have even helped private detectives on the trail of dangerous criminals.
Who’s got your back? Do you know who is a friend or foe?
True Story: I had a friend who took a job as CEO of a hundred person corporation. Let’s call him William. Everything was going great until the parent company sent in an executive as part of William’s team. This guy (call him Dick) was trouble. If William had been able to face read Dick he would have been able to analyze the newcomer and recognize that Dick had several challenging and potentially trouble-making traits. As it turned out Dick was highly problematic because he had close ties to several board members. A fact William would have discovered because the red flags from his facial analytics would have prompted William to dig deeper into Dick’s background.
Armed with this knowledge William could have taken steps to protect himself from Dick’s eventual treachery. But William missed the warnings and being a decent person gave Dick the benefit of the doubt and failed to follow a defensive course. Consequently, Dick began a pattern of undermining William’s position and when things came to a head a year later, William, who had grown the company measurably as CEO got the boot and lost about $600,000 in bonuses. William’s frustrating and bitter outcome could have been avoided if he’d had more information from the beginning about Dick’s nature. Through facial analytics it was available.
Facial analytics improves relations in the workplace:
Facial Analytics can give you 4 decisive business advantages in the workplace:
1) Knowing who to hire – According to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, one bad hire can lead to a domino effect of more bad hires and decisions costing a company millions. He estimates his own bad hires have cost Zappos “well over $100 million.”
Imagine the increased effectiveness of hiring practices that help screen potential hires with problematic personalities that could lead to avoidable interpersonal conflict or caused major workplace disruptions. Standard hiring techniques like a résumé and interview can hide important weakness and in some cases relevant strengths.
2) Managing expectations makes one a better manager– facial analytics helps a manager avoid the stress that comes from either over or under estimating the psychological needs of the people they work with. These misplaced expectations create stress for both the manager and the employee and affects everybody involved’s ability to perform optimally and with satisfaction. In fact, whether a coworker is above or below them in the chain of command, understanding a person’s psychological boundaries and emotional capacity would help a manager develop better interpersonal skills.
3) Becoming expert in delegating workload and putting together teams – facial analytics gives insight in to an individual’s propensities, strengths and weaknesses. Having this information would help you to make better decision about how to utilize and engage others, whether you are putting together a team or have to manage any group of people.
4) Executive training windfall – an executive trained by an expert in facial analytics is better equipped to manage challenging personalities, competitors, antagonistic board members, investors, etc…
3 more ways to gain Insight into all relationships
Knowing strengths and weaknesses: facial analytics can positively impact relationships both inside and outside of work. Relationship issues like new friendships, romance, guiding children, meeting potential partners can be improved by the increased insight to the person’s psychological profile. When looking at a person the face reader can quickly surmise character, personality traits, strengths and weaknesses. This goes a long way toward answering the first issue, “Should I be involved with this person?”
Relationship compatibility: Going further into the potential of a relationship you may want to know, “What is my compatibility with this person, or how can I best interact with them?” At this stage you can become the subject of facial analytics. You can use face readings to develop a clearer picture of who you are and what your principle roles in life might be. This process teaches you to be both constructively self-aware and mission oriented.
Better communication: Facial analytics can also help in a crucial aspect of developing and maintaining relationships: dialogue. The key to dialogue is your ability to ask questions, and good questioning requires being able to gauge the responses you get and use that feedback to dig deeper into the psyche and emotional needs of the person you are communicating with. Better communication skills mean more effective relationships. Face reading gives you the opportunity to become even more than an empathic listener. It allows you to become an insightful listener. In terms of communication skill sets, this is like the difference between being an average interested person and being Sherlock Holmes.
Never again say, “If only I’d known that…”
Learning how to read faces takes time but I feel that it is an innate capacity for all humans. Among other things facial analytics takes the natural capacity for intuition or gestalt perception and refines it. It seems reasonable to assume that humans uncovering or regaining their ability to read faces coincides with the advances we are making both technologically and politically as a civilization. Those that take the time to develop this skill could avoid costly errors of judgment like my friend William. There are many implications for face reading from the aforementioned hiring to the ability to better select and manage corporate and non-profit boards. I would love to hear from you how it could improve your business environment
Where do I find an expert in facial analytics?
Right now there is a shortage of people with this skill. Certainly Dr. Lincoln (you will learn about him in part two of this article) and myself are capable. But a great many more are needed. I am currently developing research projects that will also serve to train people in this practice. As grant money becomes available these training projects will become a valuable resource. In the meantime you may ask me questions and I will do my best to answer them. (Many people ask my rate for consulting and it is $175/hour.) And I am always interested in hearing ideas about integrating this process into technology based ideas.
Stay tuned for part two: The Origins of facial analytics. If you like this article please tweet and post, and if you want to get more like this in your email box please subscribe using the function in the right side column
Update: Some people have asked for an example of what you see in a facial analytics. I did a quick study of pols and CEOs last election here.