I was able to see people unconscious responses to my conversations by being acutely aware of minimal changes in their body.
I was able to see to see the way in which peoples physiology was being represent by their body. What is interesting is that our unconscious mind takes care of our conscious movement, and although someone says they agree with me, their body tells a different story.
I was able to see how people were responding to both me and the subject matter being discussed, from the disengagement of the eyes wondering around a room, to then being transfixed on me when I have engaged their full attention.
By being aware of these responses you can identify both negative and positive reactions, and by being acutely aware of a person’s reaction you are able to recognise the signs of disengagement and engagement. The great thing is you can see whether the person is on board with you and you’re moving towards the agreed outcome or the reverse being that the person is disengaged and if I losing them.
In the past I have felt like people have just told me what I wanted to hear, now I can recognsie key signs as to whether they are on board with me or not. From the way someone breaths to the thinning of the lower lip, to the defocusing or erratic movement of someone’s eyes.
I tried this exercise out on a fried and started a conversation by saying “I’m going to be a consultant, and by next week I will be starting a new business and will have at least 5 contacts. When I said “how amazing is that” this was the responses I received.
Firstly she raised her head and her eye brows rose whilst her mouth slightly opened, her eyes wandered not trying to make contact with mine whilst her reply of “yeah that’s great” was crackled and broken. All movements were exaggerated and delayed, and it was almost like I pressed pause for a second before the reaction took place.
When I asked “what do you think” this person began to get a red chest and even though the reply was “That’s great” the way their unconscious was effecting their conscious movement was fantastic. Once I told her that she was my guinea pig, they reply was “was I that obvious” however unless you and are aware of someone’s reactions then most definitely not.
Having sensory acuity is very important, many of time I have said to someone “what wrong with you, you don’t look happy” and the response I received lets say was not very welcomed. I have realised if I make an interpretation and try to become a mind reader, then my interpretation could lead me down the wrong. By having sensory acuity, I can validate my assumptions based on the unconscious responses that are presents to me visually.
Generally I found the Sensory Acuity exercises straightforward. I think I have quite a high degree of sensory awareness, though having to break it down into observing the tiny changes was an interesting task. I now find I am observing people all the time, though hopefully not too obviously!
I found the changes in eye movement the easiest to observe, probably because they were in my immediate vision. Tonus, other than the obvious reddening of the skin, I found the hardest to notice, though I am practising observing it.
Thinking about someone my pair liked and another they disliked, I found I could identify which was which based on changes in the shape of the mouth and the eyes. They didn’t give much away through their breathing, and kept a still body posture so there were no gestures to go on.
Walking in someone else’s moccasins I found quite enjoyable, and found I got into their walking pace and pattern really easily. I was aware of small changes, such as slowing down to look at a tree, or speeding up to walk past someone coming the other way.
These exercises were hard. I am actually very intuitive and one of my strengths is the ability to just sense where people are at, what they are thinking or feeling and what words, pictures or actions would be helpful in that situation.
However, doing these exercises I realized that I am not as perceptive as I thought I would be. I am used to observing people as a whole and respond naturally to the vibe I am getting, but I find it very difficult to focus on the small changes that happen. I was quite surprised by this awareness. So I realized that I am consciously incompetent. I also realized that I often resort to mindreads instead of basing my observation on solid evidence.
I work with lots of Asian people so learning to observe these changes will be even more fun since they have been trained from young not to let their negative feelings show. I am intrigued to find out how much their unconscious mind would ‘betray’ the conscious control they are exerting. I have learned to see behind this learned behavior already but again have not observed the sensory based evidence.
Through the Sensory Acuity exercises I realised the importance of paying close attention to other people in order to notice the minute changes that can occur quite rapidly. Through the audio and video’s, the changes appeared more noticeable, however, when I was practising with my clients I found it easier to observe the changes in breathing and eye movements, however, found it more difficult to notice change in skin colour and tonus unless the change was overwhelmingly obvious.
Through the exercise on Like and Dislike, I found it quite easy to match facial expression and body posture because these changes were more apparent. I realise that practising matching was easy to do and I felt quite comfortable with this. I found the exercise Walking in their Moccasins quite uncomfortable to begin with, however, as I continued to match the other person’s body movements it actually became quite enjoyable and I became more relaxed in doing so. I realise the importance of being non-judgmental towards how other people view their world and how more accepting I am of others irrespective of their values, beliefs, experiences or attitudes.
In the online exercise I saw some changes in the eyes and found it easy to calibrate and notice the changes between like/dislike.
In real life I am practising the sensory acuity as an on going exercise. With some people it is hard to notice which part they are breathing but with children I have found it a bit easier, maybe because I spend more time without feeling I am “staring”. I have noticed changes in the eyes being more focus but did not notice lips or jaw muscles tensing. I feel that the tone or the voice and speed is easiest to notice but the muscle tension (face) and lips are more subtle. I notice that with practice it gets easier.
I think for a long time now I have been very sensitive to changes in people.I tend to pick up on a persons ‘vibe’ as well as physical signs.I think my low self exteem has contributed to this. My past low self esteem tended to make me like a meerkat ,constantly alert ,looking for any tiny sign that I’d done or said the wrong thing.I was so desperately seeking love and approval.So all in all I thought I was quite observant, but you have brought my attention to so many more things!
I don’t see that many people for long periods of time, so my family are the people I mostly observed. I noticed that my brother starts to watch the television if he isn’t interested in what I am talking about for a start!! Seriously though, I do find eyes very telling, posture, pitch and speed of voice, breathing… there are so many things to notice. It is fascinating to watch, for example, how people totally change when they are angry, the jaw sets, the lips tighten, the eyes flash, their hands go tense.Then seeing them as they calm down and revert back, the speed and pitch of their voice returns to normal, their breathing slows down again. I didn’t really find anything hard to spot but the easiest to spot was the eyes.
When I imagine myself in a situation and feel it is real, I notice the changes in my mood in response to the situation and also the changes in my physiology. It also affects my perception of reality. If the situation is pleasant, it puts me in a pleasant state of mind; if not, then I do not have to maintain it. I have felt the changes in the environment and the response of people around me has changed, depending on the way I felt about myself. When I operate from a mental state of excellence it affects my perception of myself and the world, and vice versa.
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