I read an article on LinkedIn which suggests there are eight small things upon which others judge your personality. Here are those eight things:
- How you treat waiters and receptionists
- How often you check your phone
- Repetitive, nervous habits
- How long you take to ask questions
- Your handshake
- Eye contact
I agree with most of the things on this list I have to admit. Except for maybe someone’s handwriting, and that’s more because, who sees anyone’s handwriting anymore? It’s becoming more and more rare, though saying that if I saw a lawyer for instance who drew love hearts over the top of every “i” then I would find it hard to take them seriously.
I would add to that list, getting someone’s name right. My name is Jaslyn, and I have been called everything from Jasmine (understandable confusion), Joslyn, Jessalyn, Catherine, and many others. Sure, my name might be a bit unusual, but I came across someone the other day who still couldn’t get it right after I repeated it, spelled it and wrote it down. This actually was a lawyer, and needless to say I didn’t hire her as it didn’t leave a very good lasting impression; after all if she couldn’t get my name right, what else wouldn’t she get right?
Okay, so let’s explore the suggested list a little bit more.
How you treat waiters and receptionists
Are you a snob? Do you think you’re better than these people? Thence nice and treat them like a human being. They don’t deserve to be treated differently just because you might happen to be a manager and sit further up a corporate tree than them. Thank them, show them common courtesies, ask them how they’re doing. Not doing that, and looking down on them instead or snubbing them, not saying than you to waiters when they refill your water glass or take your dishes away, just makes you look like a jerk in my eyes.
How often you check your phone
Oh my gosh, I cannot stand when people bring phones to meetings, or you go catch up with someone and they won’t stop checking their freaking phones. I mean seriously, are you there to catch up with me or to play with your damn phone? It is so incredibly rude to check your phone when someone is in the middle of talking, it is one of my absolute pet hates.
In meetings, I understand some staff are on call and that is fine, but just bringing your phone in just because… it’s just not on. If you’re expecting an urgent call, then you let the group know, with an apology for bringing the phone in.
If you bring the phone in to a meeting for no reason, or you keep checking it while we’re catching up, you will lose brownie points.
Repetitive, nervous habits
Twirling your hair, picking at your finger nails, knees jumping up and down, nervous babbling. This can give the appearance of being unsettled, nervous, unsure and lacking in confidence. Some people just have those kinds of personalities, and I think we all have them in certain situations. But at work, if I see someone like that it makes me think twice about what tasks I might delegate them because I get a sense of incompetence when they show these traits when doing the basics, I don’t feel confident in getting them to try and do any more.
If you are not sure what your nervous ticks might be, then film yourself for a while, film yourself under pressure and see what it is that you do. One of the girls I pole with worked out the other day that when she’s trying to gear herself up for a hard trick she does three things, adjusts her bottoms, tightens her pony tail and then scratches her nose!
We all do it, the best I can recommend is work out what your nervous ticks are, and be conscious of in what situations they occur and try to avoid doing them.
How long you take to ask questions
Ok so this one isn’t about how long it takes you to formulate a question, but rather, how long you keep jabbering about yourself before you ask the other person a question. These are those people who talk about themselves a lot. While you’re sitting there wondering when this person will just shut the hell up. And if they do ask you a question it tends to only be because they actually want to answer it themselves.
If someone asks you a question, answer it succinctly but follow their body language to gauge their interest. If they continue to ask you questions then by all means keep answering them, but do try and ask them questions as well, at least as many as they’re asking you.
Raise your hand if you hate a limp handshake? What does it tell you about the person? I try not to put too much stock in them anymore as it seems most people either do the dainty half shake or have a limp handshake these days. But I do like it when I find someone who has a strong grip handshake like me, I find it instills a bit more confidence in them. They come across as a strong and confident person to me, whereas sometimes the limp or dainty ones can be a bit like they’re a bit grossed out by even just shaking someone’s hand.
A firm handshake is the way to go!
Do not ever be late!
Unless you have a legitimate reason, tardiness is just not acceptable. It doesn’t show any respect for the person you’re meeting with or catching up with. It makes it seem as though you think it’s perfectly fine to to waste their time, like it’s not as valuable as theirs.
If you are running late for whatever reason, you let them know as soon as you can. And by as soon as you can, I don’t mean, you’re due to meet at 2pm so you text them at 2.05 saying oops I’m running late.
So analysing someone’s handwriting used to be a thing, but in the electronic age I can’t say I get much of a chance to see anyone’s handwriting anymore. If I did see an adult doing love hearts or something everywhere then I’d probably frown and wonder how seriously they took themselves though.
I do have to wonder what is wrong with people who can’t look you in the eye when having a conversation. Sometimes it feels like they’re trying to hide something, and sometimes it just comes across as being nervous and not confident in themselves. And then flip side of that the people who hold your eye for too long, it can feel like they’re either flirting with you or that they’re trying to intimidate you by staring you down.
This is a tricky one, how do you know how much eye contact is enough? I think it depends on who you’re talking to. Your intimate partner you want to be able to look them deep in the eyes and have an open and honest conversation and see that reflected in their eyes. Someone you’ve just met you might hold their eyes for a second, maybe look at their lips as they’re talking, if you stop and think about something, sometimes I’d glance over their shoulder or something so it doesn’t look like I’m frowning at them or glaring or anything.
This can be a really hard one to get right, so if you’re unsure then maybe talk to your family or close friends, or just watch them and see how they interact with others and how they’re received by others. If you’re really concerned I’m sure there are short courses on verbal and non-verbal communication that might help.
Are there any other ways you use to judge people’s personalities? Let me know in the comments below!