Being able to quickly “size-up” a person is one of the toughest skills in business. The ability to quickly access the personality and intent of a person is a skill so important that almost every successful executive will tell you that reading body language and facial expressions is a critical skill.
The FBI teaches this all-important skill, and cameras are now used in airports, hooked to software that analyzes facial expressions of passengers:
“In an attempt to prevent terrorists from boarding commercial planes, scientists are developing a device that can detect and record facial expressions that show fear and other emotions.”
But it’s not just the F.B.I. and law enforcement.
Remember the scene in the Thomas Harris book “Silence of the Lambs” where Hannibal Lecter makes eerily accurate snap judgments about Clarice Starling? Hannibal the Cannibal has become one of the most frightening characterizations of evil, primarily because of his high intellect and his uncanny ability to quickly access the personality of strangers. In one memorable scene, Hannibal makes an eerier assessment of Clarice Starling (played in the movie by Jody Foster):
“You're so-o ambitious, aren't you? You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube, with a little taste.
Good nutrition's given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you've tried so desperately to shed - pure West Virginia. What does your father do? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp?
You know how quickly the boys found you. All those tedious, sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars, while you could only dream of getting out. Getting anywhere, getting all the way to the F...B...I.”
Personality Assessment Tests
Mental health professionals are trained at person assessment, and a well-trainer personality evaluator can...