Monthly Archives: October 2015

Reading People through Social Signals: Consistency

How good are you at reading people? The more I read about communication social signals, the more I realize how complex we are as human beings. And yet, in conversation, we give off clear indications of how interested we are, how convinced or undecided we are and how open we might be to changing opinion. […]
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The Key Social Signals that Trigger Trust

According to some very intricate data on how we communicate, there are four kinds of social signals that are strongly predictive of future behavior. These signals unconsciously change our impressions of other people’s attention, trust, interest, and focus. But because signaling behaviors happen so quickly in conversations, we’re rarely conscious of how we intuitively sense […]
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The Hidden Signal of Influence in Conversations

How can we detect how much influence we’re having in a conversation? This would be important to know when negotiating a salary, making a sales pitch, or trying to get a promotion. We’re learning that social signals — barely perceptible communication behaviors — between people are key to understanding influence. Social scientists are beginning to […]
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4 Honest Social Signals that Unmask Conversations

I’ve been reading about the social signals we give during conversations and how raising our level of awareness can help us communicate better. There are several books about this, reflecting new research on social interactions. In particular, Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World by Alex Pentland of the Human Dynamics Lab at MIT, presents […]
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How We Really Communicate:
Subtle Social Signals

How much do you pay attention to social signals while having a conversation? I’m curious about how we humans seem to unconsciously communicate with one another. Even before we say words, we often intuit how others feel. Scientists call these “honest social signals.” I recently picked up a book about this and am intrigued about […]
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High Performing Teams Are Social

In my recent posts, I’ve been exploring how social scientists have been measuring high performing teams to discover the key elements of team effectiveness.  They’ve been able to measure group members’ interactions with a sociometric device that shows three key patterns. Geoff Colvin describes this in his book Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know […]
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The New Science of Measuring
Team Effectiveness

How do we know that social sensitivity outweighs all other factors in team effectiveness? Scientists are using new technology to measure the degree of social interaction in organizations. Professor Alex Pentland’s Human Dynamic Lab at MIT invented a sociometric badge, worn on people’s clothing. It has the technology to measure the tone of voice a […]
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3 Ways to Be an Effective Team Member

How can you be an effective team member and help your work group be successful? It may seem unlikely that there could be anything new to learn about what makes teams effective, but there is. More than ever before, work today gets done in teams, and your ability to contribute as a member is vital […]
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