Brain Training Part 4 – Want to Improve Your People Skills? Here’s How.
While these areas may not be difficult for you, perhaps you still struggle with certain people skills. Have you seen someone waving you over and panicked because, for the life of you, you cannot remember their name or how you know them?
Maybe certain facial expressions leave you unsure of the other person’s feelings or reactions.
Keeping track of the details of a friend’s story and understanding the subtleties helps solidify personal connection. These abilities are important in daily personal interactions, as well as professional situations. Read on to learn more about improving your people skills through brain training!
#1 Face Facts
Recognizing that you have encountered a face before is good, but it’s hardly sufficient. No one simply wants to be a face you’ve seen before. Personal connections involve remembering details such as names, interests, and other facts about a person. If you struggle with putting a name to a face, don’t worry! This exercise can help your brain increase its capacity for connecting faces back to names and information that helps you recall the whole person.
In Face Facts, you will be shown a person, then given three pieces of data about them. These facts may include names, interests, occupations, or locations in which the person lives or has visited. After you have seen a couple of people, you will then be shown a person and have to select the fact related to them.
As you improve, the exercise becomes more challenging. You will be shown more people in a segment, which requires you to remember the details associated with each person. The names and facts will also become more similar (i.e. Marie, Millie, and Mara).
Training your brain to process, sort, file, and recall details associated with faces will make you more confident when meeting new people or when someone approaches you with that “I-know-you!” look of recognition.
#2 Face to Face
Ever made a statement and seen a flash across someone’s face? Could you discern if they were amused or appalled? Recognizing facial expressions is critical for developing your social skills. Believe it or not, this is not necessarily an automatic or intuitive function. In order to maximize positive social interactions and potentially reduce those awkward moments, it’s essential that you can recognize and correctly interpret how someone is feeling based on their facial expressions.
In Face to Face, you will be shown a photo of a facial expression. You will then be shown a different person and have three expressions from which to choose. Your task is to select the expression that matches the first person’s expression.
Reading facial cues may be considered highly subjective. So how do we determine these? To create this exercise, actors were asked to make a face representing an emotion, feeling, or opinion. The photo was then shown to a series of people (both scientists and laypersons). If the test subjects agreed on the expression showed, the photo made the cut. If not, the photo was rejected. A facial expression recognition expert then reviewed the photos.
Progressing through the exercise means more challenges!
- The angles in which the initial person is shown will change.
- The images will flash for shorter periods.
- The matching expression selection will have more options.
- Expressions will become more similar.
#3 In the Know
If you’re anything like me, you hear a story from a friend or a podcast and try to keep all the details straight. But sometimes the details turn into a jumbled, confusing mess in my brain. Did he say Thailand or Singapore? Was it her brother or brother-in-law who got the job promotion? And which one is expecting a new baby?
In the Know helps the brain sort and file the details of auditory information. This exercise pushes the brain by presenting complex conversations in which you must pay attention, then answer specific questions. As you progress, the conversations become longer, challenging your brain to sort through more details and hold onto them for longer periods of time. The speech speeds up and the pause in between sentences shortens.
Learning how to process, sort, file and store this auditory information has tremendous real-world application for building and maintaining excellent people skills.
A section of the brain known as the “fusiform facial area” (FFA) is thought by many scientists to be responsible for facial recognition. In Recognition you are shown a target face. The face is simply that… the face. No body, no hair, no ears. It’s cropped in such a way that it strengthens and challenges the FFA.
The exercise grows increasingly difficult by
- Flashing the target image for briefer periods.
- Providing more options for matching the target image.
- Changing the angle of the target image.
- Showing a different angle of the target image from the match options.
Better Social Skills Through Brain Training: Just a Click or Call Away!
Improving your social skills through facial and auditory interpretation and recall is possible. We can help. Reach out at (888) 549-5519 or utilize our online chat feature to learn more about strengthening your social skills through these incredible exercises.