Imagine yourself pitching an idea to a group of people. As you speak, you quickly scan the audience, your attention jumping from face to face. Are people smiling? Or do they look confused, bored, maybe even angry?
Facial expressions impart vital clues about people’s emotions. Whether you’re a junior employee or a C-suite executive, making these split-second judgments about how your audience is feeling is a critically important skill. But even the most emotionally intelligent among us can struggle to understand exactly how these split-second judgments are made, and more importantly, whether or not they are accurate. And this becomes even more complicated when you start trying to read social cues not just in a single person, but in a group of people. Read this great HBR article to find out more