Reading people’s emotions and expressions is interesting. For example, before trying to figure out if someone is telling the truth of lying you have to understand their baseline. The ideal baseline is the point of reference in someone at which cognition and emotion are in harmony.
When someone is lying cognition and emotion are not in harmony because the individual is either thinking about his feelings of feeling what he is thinking. When someone is feeling guilty about lying, for example, there is no harmony between his feelings and his emotions, that is, the ‘truth’ is told but guilt is the emotion on display.
To decipher someone’s emotional state, analyze voice, pitch, pace, tone, timing, behavioral expression, verbal content and facial expression. For instance, liars tend to use distancing language and negative words, as in ‘I wasn’t there when the fire started.” Instead of, “I was at home when the fire started.”
Researchers, scientists and psychologist say that what most people can’t fake is micro expression because they are involuntary movements of facial muscles to express an emotion. Micro expressions occur in fractions of a second making it hard for them to be spotted or faked.
Examples of micro expressions for various emotions are as follows:
- Anger- eyebrows face down, eyes glare, lips press down together
- Contempt- Lip corner tightens and rises to one side
- Disgust- nose wrinkles, upper lip rises, eyes stare (concealed scorn)
- Fear- eyebrows rise together, upper lip rises, lower eyelids tense, lips tightly stretch horizontally back to the ears
- Surprise- eyebrows and eye lids rise, jaw drops, eyes widen
These are some of the expressions that can be used to tell someone’s true emotion. Does it work? Well, you be the judge of it. Selling is all about knowing the right time to close the deal or to give up. In order to do so you have to be able to tell how the client is feeling, and if and/or how you can change their perception, through their expression.
So, next time you’re out meeting a client/ partner or your boyfriend/ girlfriend, be sure to use the above techniques to see if it does work. From experience, I believe in micro expression and its power to turn sales around.
Stephen Kahinga, Sales Consultant