Most professionals don’t understand or know how to “read the room”, a technique that most professionals don’t know. To help you navigate business situations, almost anyone can learn to read a room. It takes time to learn the language and understand the dynamics. People communicate more than words can convey. Anyone can benefit from learning the mechanics of reading a room full people. It can be a great tool for project managers to lead a team.
Group Dynamics
It is a skill that can be learned and used to read a room full people, personalities, knowledge levels, and other things.
The multiple levels of psychological and behavioral dynamics that are available to project managers when a group of people meets in a room can help them manage a team, guide a project, and reduce blockers. This helps to understand hang ups and decision-making patterns, and create strategy and new ideas.
Continue reading: Tips for managing high-performing remote team members
Things to Be Watchful of
Talking is more than just a verbal exchange. The words may be able to give you details about the topic but they are only one part of the conversation. Conversations can have both a straightforward and an underlying meaning. Voice inflection, especially at the executive level can help you understand what they are thinking and their opinions.
Body Language
A person’s body language, facial expressions, and the messages they convey can provide a wealth information. Complex, difficult or uncomfortable conversations force people to share information on one level while their personal opinions and opposing views are communicated on another. They share something important and hidden that shapes the meaning of another without being explicit.
Non-verbal communication can be used to react to shared information. This includes involuntary facial expressions and body movements (posture), gestures eye contact, touch, space, voice, and body positions. These visual clues can also be used to tell you if there are inconsistencies.
Reactions that appear are examples of non-verbal cues you should pay attention to.
Worried or nervous: Frowns furrowed, darting eyes or arms wrapped tightly, quiet or excessively talkative.
Confused: Vacant eyes, confused, partial or incoherent answers, unsure or unsure.
Angry: Using hostile or abrupt gestures, flushed skin, slamming objects, not speaking or intentionally muting.
Awkward: Silence or looking away or at a floor, looking down, rolling eyes, avoidance
Interested: Full engagement, smiling, laughing and leaning in, eye contact, compliments
Tips for Reading a Room
Pay attention to the surroundings. Listening alone will not tell you the whole story. Take a look at everyone present and note something unique about each one. Note their seating and standing positions, how much or little they participate, eye contact and how they behave throughout the meeting. Take notes and give your full attention to all participants.
Be careful how much you talk. You don’t have to say everything, but it is important to plan ahead and stick with the main points. Give time to others and listen to their feedback. Boredom and inability to participate will result from speaking too much. Talking too much can make you appear unprepared or out of control in a meeting. Listen for the rest of your meeting. Remember that listening is different from hearing.
Be contextualized when making observations. To learn from individuals, you should focus on their behavior. You can understand what is happening in the company right now, as well as in the individual lives and roles of team members. This may influence their opinions and motivate them. Men should be empowered