If you don’t read people well

“If you don’t read people well, you’re climbing up a wobbly career ladder, blindfolded.”

⏤Dan Rust, author of Workplace Poker

Image of "Workplace Poker" book cover

When you hear the phrase, “office politics,” what comes to mind? If you are like many, this idea draws strong reactions, including hate, disgust, annoyance, or for some, a bit of curiosity. Regardless of your feelings, office politics are a fact of life. In Workplace Poker, Dan Rust suggests we either learn to play it or we are likely to be played.

His advise on learning to read people includes:

  • Minimize your own emotional reactions, and set aside preconceived notions, judgements, and expectations. You can’t get inside someone else’s head until you get out of your own.
  • Learn to be a third-party observer. Notice how people speak, dress, act, and interact with others. You will gain a baseline of their behavior, which can be revealing and useful.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of Workplace Poker if you have ever experienced bumps or dips in your career trajectory. This resource can also prove useful in many community and non-profit organizations.

You see but you do not observe The distinction is clear

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.”

⏤Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

Image of Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Watson

image from BBC

Do you enjoy a good mystery? You know, tales of intrigue with twists and turns, and a wise individual who uses the power of perception and deduction to discern who done it from all sorts of information?

Most of us fall a bit short of identifying all the clues we need to solve the mysteries of life.

Take, for instance, the mysteries of our most significant relationships with a spouse or life partner. On may occasions we really do seem to be from different planets!

EXERCISE:

How can you expand your capacity to observe your world like Sherlock Holmes, to see the people and events around you far more clearly?