People are fascinating. The more we watch us, the more fascinating we are. As a leader, people watching — in an observational (not creepy) way — is an essential skill because our truths play out in the combination of what we say and how we say it, both verbally and non-verbally.
Whether your meeting observations are virtual or in person, you can use them to coach your team members to get more intentional about their interactions for stronger conversation results.
What we say
Reading between the lines. When did you last do that?
Decisions are made so fast that we’ve come take in only what someone utters vocally or in an email or text, and we accept that to be true or factual.
But our choice of words, the phrases we repeat, the emphasis we place in our expressions, who we direct our words at as well as who we exclude, and the congruency (or not) with our body language, these all tell us so much about what a person really believes and thinks, and who or what decision they are trying to influence.
It’s not necessarily the case that they are trying to deceive us; it’s more that they are not so aware of their own thinking or behaviour as much as we may assume. And sometimes they are trying to deceive us, and that’s when people watching is incredibly valuable.