As soon as we are born, we are reading faces, responding to smiles and smirks and interpreting body movements.
That’s according to Mac Fulfer, an expert and author on the topic who has a doctorate in law from TCU and a message for business people looking for a bit of an advantage.
“What face reading is really about is how to make connections with people, see the other person and understand what that other person is like. Human beings are hardwired for this,” Fulfer told an audience of about 60 at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Business seminar on Jan. 20. “The wonderful thing about this topic is that it’s not cultural, it works on everybody in the entire world.”
About 35 of the College’s seminar guests were external business partners and alumni and the rest, UW Oshkosh faculty and staff. Amy Pinkston, marketing director for COB, said the event provided a great environment for the various COB stakeholders to stay connected with the College and with each other.
“The seminar was just one way the College of Business engages stakeholders,” Pinkston said. “It’s great to see high-level business executives from Baker Tilly, Great Northern Corp. and the New North participating in on-campus events.”
The event began with a networking session and light breakfast for faculty, staff, alumni, MBA students and external business partners to get better acquainted with each other.
Megan McFadden, a December graduate from UW Oshkosh and employment coordinator at Bemis Company, said she did not know what to expect at the seminar, but the topic struck her interest.
“I was asked by a coworker whether or not I would like to go to this event, and I thought it would be good for networking and a great business experience for my position,” McFadden said. “Having the ability to read people and their body language is important in my position and career.”
Fulfer said face reading can affect people in their personal and professional lives. His initial interest in reading faces began when he started practicing law. He needed to get an edge in jury selection.
There is also application for face reading in human resources and several other fields and industries. Undergraduate Advising Resource Center (UARC) Academic Advisor Michelle Gross said she wanted to expand her knowledge of face reading for advising purposes at the University.
“I think the topic is interesting, will assist me in my advising job and give me insight into what students need,” Gross said. “Plus, this is a different, unique presentation you would not normally see on campus.”
As a published author of “Amazing Face Reading,” Fulfer travels the world discussing his breakthroughs in communication, how face reading can benefit an organization and what specific characteristics to look for. He has provided face reading basics to managers’ at large organizations, including IBM, AT&T, 3M and GE.
At the COB seminar, Fulfer emphasized specific things to look for, including the ability to spot deception and what silent signals and lines on a person’s face mean. The engaged audience found themselves touching their own faces to see if facial features matched certain personality characteristics.
“Physical features have personality characteristics that go with them,” Fulfer said. “How we look is based on 40 percent genetics and 60 percent life experiences.”
Seven attendees volunteered to have their faces read in front of the audience, including COB Dean William Tallon. Fulfer described the dean as being overly responsible, a team player and natural provider and someone who partially bases decisions on gut feelings.
“He’s got an over-achiever line on his chin, which means he’s going to do more work than he needs to,” Fulfer said of Tallon. “And according to the downward curl of his nose, he works best in the service of others.”
“You nailed it,” Tallon responded. “I always thought of myself as an over-achiever, and that I work hard.”
None of the volunteers said Fulfer got the face reading wrong, and after the readings, he wrapped up the seminar answering questions and providing information about his book and upcoming two-day workshops.
Pinkston hopes to coordinate events like this more often for both COB students and external partners.
For more information about College of Business events, visit http://www.uwosh.edu/cob/events.