Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 114: Subtle Emotion Test

This is a photo of the beautiful and talented Icelandic Actress, Anita Briem.  I have included a high resolution image of her upper face as a test.  What emotion is she feeling?  It is subtle but important. 

Most everyone can detect strong examples of emotional displays.  Very few people, even among accomplished professionals with presumed "people-skills" such as physicians, attorneys, clergy, teachers and politicians are able to detect modest, let alone subtle examples of facial displays of the universal emotions. I am continually amazed by the prevalence of this lack of ability to detect emotion in others. Many experts feel that this phenomenon is getting worse with less and less "face-time" and more and more emails, texting, tweeting, phone interactions, etc. Under stress, this skill drops off even more profoundly. Is Anita feeling happiness, sadness, fear, anger, contempt, disgust, or surprise? How should you respond if she were your client, your sister, your friend, your wife or your patient? Discount it, ignore it, or miss it altogether and you both will suffer.