When you first meet someone, what’s the first feature you look at on their face? Is it their nose? Their eyes? Their smile? Or do you delve deeper – do you look for expression and what the person is feeling and thinking in the moment? Whether you’re meeting someone casually for the first time or interviewing for that job you really want, first impressions are important. So what is your face saying?
We live in a world of snap judgements and to make life easier, we have to. Cappuccino or latte? Uber or Lyft? Jaywalk or wait for the lights? Decision fatigue is real!
And so of course we are going to make snap judgements when we meet people for the first time. And if those people want to work for you, you will quickly judge their facial expressions and every single thing they do with their face is going to reveal their intention in the tiniest of ways. So facial expressions (yours and theirs), features and reactions are going to reveal maybe more than you intend to, so pay attention.
Microexpressions are the biggest giveaways. It mostly happens when an involuntary expression or reaction supports or conflicts with the expression that you convey at a later stage. For example; if you have to act like you’re comfortable with a situation but you really aren’t, your words may say “this is fine” but your brow may frown ever so slightly, giving away your truth.
This is not a call for everyone to go to spy school to study the art of facial and body expressions so you can crack a code. Picking up on what the face reveals is a great skill to have, especially if your job revolves around reading people’s first impressions. To see the “man behind the curtain” is so valuable because it reveals authenticity.
At the moment our face-to-face interactions in person are limited, but the increase of Zoom calls where there are fewer distractions from facial expressions may make them even more noticeable.
Take on board what people are truly telling you about themselves and be conscious of what you are conveying yourself. People respect authenticity at home and at work, so be the best version of yourself and don’t reveal any different.