I read at the weekend about the famous rivalry between Boris Becker and Andre Agassi in the world of championship tennis. Agassi continually lost to Becker until he figured out his poker face. His body language “tell” for his serve.
Agassi learnt that when Becker stuck his tongue out to the left, he was going to serve wide, when his tongue was central, the serve went straight. This enabled Agassi to win a long series of victories against Becker even though he deliberately lost serves to alleviate suspicion.
There’s a “tell” for everything with humans. Learn to read your customer’s physiology and you’ll be able to read minds. Here’s some reminders:
- Peripheral vision. Rather than use your foveal vision which involves focussing on one spot, practise peripheral which allows you to gaze at the whole picture. That way you’ll pick up all the signals.
- Calibrate normal. When you meet your customer or coachee, take a good look at their “normal” so when they “leak” you might spot an issue or problem that you can probe.
- Body language. Re-learn the body signals. There’s some great work on this all over the internet. Google a guy called Alan Pease, he’s a master on the topic and rib ticklingly funny too.
Only upon his retirement in 1999 did Agassi confess. Naughty, but his skill earned him a lot of money. Remember, she with the greatest flexibility of behaviour, is the winner.