Reading Emotions to Improve Interviewing

I recently attended a training course by People Intell on Emotional Skills and Competencies. This course built upon previous training I have had on emotions and micro-expressions by Mark Frank and JJ Newberry. This type of training is often looked upon within the corporate and law enforcement environment as "soft skills", but reading and understanding emotions hardly makes you soft. Emotions are often what cause people to run into a burning building to save someone, to face fear head-on or to charge into battle knowing the risk of death is high. Emotions are powerful and move people into action, but emotions can also dangerous, and identifying emotions properly can help you assess any underlying problems before they explode, which is a crucial skill for law enforcement officers.

Understanding emotions will also help make you a better interviewer, allowing you to connect with people more effectively, and it will also make you a better interrogator, since having a better understanding of the emotional content of communication you will be able to identify conflicts in the individual’s emotions and the words and/or behavior, helping you to focus on areas to pursue as well as to identify indicators of possible deception.

If you are new to micro-expressions or would like to hear more, check out the link below to an NPR story on identifying lies.

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