One of the most common, most serious challenges we face in life is not being able to read people accurately. To function effectively, humans must be able to predict what others will do, and trust them accordingly. But if you hand out your trust like candy, you can lose the things you treasure most. That’s why it’s essential to be able to size people up accurately.
When you’re sizing people up, you learn a lot about their character: their traits, tendencies, desires, fears, affections, strengths, weaknesses, and skills. All of that information will help you determine whether you can trust them, whether in business or love.
Over my two decades as a behavior analyst at the FBI, I was able to implement and refine a reliable system for behavior prediction that could be easily taught and learned. This system works because it cuts to the core of human behavior and rests primarily upon a single fundamental truth: People will almost always act in their own best interests. Some people think that’s a cynical read, but I disagree. Self-interest is the heart and soul of human survival, the wellspring of achievement. And acting in one’s best interests can include any number of virtuous, altruistic goals.
These six signs of behavior prediction will help you determine what people think is in their own best interests and, from there, anticipate how they will act:
Sign #1. Vesting: Does this person believe they will benefit from your success?
When people see your achievements as a positive reflection on themselves, they’ll help you however they can. They’ll voluntarily link themselves to you, protect you from harm, and find ways to promote your interests.
I like to vest in the success of as many people as is reasonably possible because when I do, they usually vest in my success — as well as the success of others close to me — and my effectiveness increases exponentially.
To find out if somebody would be a good mutual ally, talk to them about their immediate goals, necessities, concerns, and…