In today’s episode with Alan Stevens, we’ll explore the science and art of reading faces and the benefits of building communication skills and trust in your relationships, even if you’ve just met someone for the first time. 

If you enjoyed this episode today, be sure to hit the follow button on the Spotify player (• • •) and share it with your friends and colleagues. ~ Big Love, April

00:13 – Introduction
00:47 – How face reading helps us engage with people on their level thinking and processing  information
05:23 – Alan demonstrates how it works 
04:09 – Assessing traits if you’re starting out 
06:55 – Knowing yourself first  
08:16 – Improve your influence and engagement   
11:32 – How micro expressions would have saved Julius Caesar
12:42 – People follow people not companies   
14:31 – Building bridges in challenging relationships 
19:05 – The importance of watercooler conversations 
25:02 – Campfire Project 
27:15 – Building bridges with the Men Too movement 

About Alan Stevens

Alan Stevens is an International Profile and Communications Specialist. He is regularly featured on National TV, Radio and in the World’s Press, profiling the likes of our leading politicians, TV and sports stars as well as Britain’s Royalty. 

The Newcastle Herald describes Alan Stevens as “The Mentalist meets Dr. Phil “ and as “The leading authority in reading faces, globally” by the UK Guardian. He is an authority in reading people; what they are not saying, what they are attempting to conceal and how they are likely to behave in given situations.  All of this through recognising the unconsciously leaked indicators of concealment and deceit as well as the indicators of a person’s conscious preferred behaviours and personality.

He has been a founding board member of a number of charities, Zone Supervisor for the Surf Life Saving Association and Club Captain of Nobbys SLSC. Teaching his skills in the US, Europe and Asia, he has been a guest speaker for the Australian Technical Analysts Association, the National University Singapore and the Option Traders Club of Singapore.  He has taught FOREX trading and The Psychology of Trading here and overseas.  He also introduced sound & colour therapies in Singapore Schools for students with ADHD. Alan is also a Free Mason, a member of the Hunter Youth Mentoring Collaborative and a past Rotarian.

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Links to additional resources

Alan Stevens’s website: https://www.alanstevens.com.au/

Alan’s free course: How to Persuade and Influence Behaviours of Others
https://alanstevens.thinkific.com/courses/Free-Course

Alan Stevens’s podcast: https://www.alanstevens.com.au/media/

Alan Stevens Speaker Pack: https://www.alanstevens.com.au/speaker-pack/

Alan Stevens LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/readingfaces/

FaceProfiler on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FaceProfiler

FaceProfiler on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/face_profiler/

FaceProfiler on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReadingFaces/

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April Qureshi’s leadership website: https://aprilqureshi.com

April Qureshi on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/april-qureshi/

Read April’s books on Amazon: http://booksbyapril.ca

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Episode Transcription

April Qureshi (00:02):

Hello and welcome to the Leader Lounge Community, where great leaders bridge the gap between people and performance. I’m your host, April Carrey. On today’s show I’m speaking with Alan Stevens, international profiling and communications specialist. And we’re gonna learn how reading faces can build communication skills and trust in relationships. Welcome Alan. 

Alan Stevens (00:30):

Thank you very much. Great to be here.

April Qureshi (00:32):

And so, so you read faces.

Alan Stevens (00:36):

That’s right.

April Qureshi (00:38):

Being able to read what a person’s face says. How is that gonna help us in understanding people?

Alan Stevens (00:47):

It gives us a better understanding of how they like to think and process. And if we have that, we’ve got a better understanding of how to engage with them. So we know if somebody is, you know very timid, they need space, et cetera, and we meet ’em for the first time, how much information they need to take in the face tells us everything. And just to explain that, because I know that people are gonna be going, Well, how does you this work? Is it, you know, clairvoyance? Is it some woo woo type thing? If you lift weights, you’re going to build muscles up in your arms. You know, we would lift bi weights and bicep curls. You’ll build your biceps up. You do it the other way, you’ll build your triceps. And everything we feel inside, we express outwardly. So straight away, we know that if we pull an expression over and over, like anger, for instance, we’ll have a start to get the, the mouth will start to turn down. We’ll get the eyebrows pulling in. And so we find that if we think in a particular way and concentrate deeply, like if I really focus in on things, I get these vertical lines. You start to build ridges here. So the face is a history of how you like to think and process. And so that gives you an advantage straightaway to know how much information to give that person. Now, if you don’t mind, as I’m talking to you, I’ll talk about some of the traits that you have that I can see, if that’s okay.

April Qureshi (02:02):

Yeah. You wanna do that right now?

Alan Stevens (02:04):

Yep. Just so people understand its best ways to do this, and then we can get into how this works. Because until people understand that this works extremely well, then they’re not going to really take much of the other end that we talk about. But I know that when you meet people for the first time, that you’re quite friendly, you’ll stand reasonably close to them. When you are looking at taking in information before you make a decision, you need to analyze everything before it say that you fully understand it beforehand. Once you’ve got that, then you’re reasonably quick to get into action. At the same time, you, some people are very fast to go into action. Soon as they get the answer, bang, they’re gone. Other people will take a lot of time looking at all the different possibilities. You’re somewhere in the middle.

(02:44):

You’re fairly concise when you’re talking to people so that, you know, if you’re telling a story, you’re not gonna give a lot of detail and you’re not going to give just bullet points either. You’re going to give, you know, a reasonably concise, but enough information for them to understand. You’re quite adventurous as well. You articulate well, it’s about how things feel, where some people are all about expression and telling everybody what they’re feeling. They’re naturally great presenters, but they also do stress with the same fervour with you. It’s about how it feels inside. So I know if you go quiet, then you are thinking about things. You’re trying to work things out for yourself. Cause if I came along and kept on asking you, What’s going on, that’s gonna annoy you and you’re gonna walk back into your cave, move back away from me. Hmm. So I can tell from your face, and I’ve got a good level of confidence as well. So all of this tells me that how to present information to you, and that’s what happens within the face. How was that? You’ve also got a dry sense of humour as well, <laugh>. There’s a bit of a good width there. <laugh>. How is that so far with the explanation?

April Qureshi (03:47):

You’re bang on Alan that it’s amazing. I don’t know how you get the dry sense of humour out of looking at my face. That’s a curious one.

Alan Stevens (03:56):

Yeah. Well, that one is actually in the, the filter on this curved area underneath the nose from the length of that to the top of the lip. Okay. You’ve got a reasonably large lens. Some people got a very small one. And those people are extremely fussy about things. And by the way, before anybody who looks in the mirror and goes, I’ve got a short filter, and therefore I take, I’m fussy about things. I don’t like that there’s an upside to every trait and a downside to every trait. So the person who’s got the short filter is quite fussy about things, but they are. And because they’re fussy as far as internal design, you go into a room, it’s just white, there’s nothing in the room. They can tell you what would look good in there. They’re good at putting the colours and everything colour together. They’re fussy about how they dress. They’re always immaculate. So, but they can take things personally. When people like you and I who’ve got a dry sense of humor, we just throw lines out, not thinking about it because it’s, we’re not meaning it deliberately or directing it directly at somebody. But they will take it that way if we’re not careful. So if we know that, I know not to be too flippant with some people that I talk to.

April Qureshi (04:59):

Yeah. And I imagine if someone is just starting out, if they’ve, you know, contacted you and say, Hey, Alan, I wanna learn how to do what you do. I’m wondering how much, how much time in the interaction we actually need to spend on like analyzing a person’s face, or does it happen that as soon as we get it, we get it and we’re able to see these patterns right away

Alan Stevens (05:23):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But when we start learning, of course it takes something. It’s like anything, we have to practice it to get our head around it. And depending on the person themselves, some people have an innate self-confidence and they get things really quickly, or they think they do until they’re put to the test. You don’t know <laugh>. And then you got the other people who build their confidence. They’re the ones that will take longer. But when they have their confidence, they know their stuff really well. So, the time it takes to learn it is dependent on the person’s personality. But the, as far as reading somebody, as somebody goes past you in the street, they say, you know, from 20 feet away, as they go past you, you got most of their, their personality. You look at what stands out the most, what stands out second, how do they work together, moderate or enhance each other?

(06:03):

What’s third? And by the time you start getting down about 10 or 12 traits, you’ve pretty much got the bulk of their personality. As you’re getting down into other traits, you’re getting middle of the road on those traits. And well, the middle of the road as a moderator of the two distant extremes. But as far as it goes, it’s mainly the extremes on someone’s face that tells you the bulk of how they’re going to think and process. And you can get that because a face doesn’t change overnight from their profile pictures on their LinkedIn profiles, their websites on social media. If you can see their face, you’ve got their personality straight away.

April Qureshi (06:37):

That’s amazing. and so I’m curious, having this skill how does that help leaders engage, you know, with their employees or with their clients, let’s say, or their teams? How does that improve engagement?

Alan Stevens (06:55):

Well, if a person, first of all, you know your own traits so that you know where you are on the world, where you are on the world scale compared to everybody else. Once you’ve got that, then it’s a matter of reading the other person and knowing how to change the way you like to be spoken to, to the way that they wanna be spoken to. And if you have a group of, you know, staff, friends, you’ve got a group of people around you, you can look at each one and change your conversation with each one as you go. Because they used to teach us, if we had we were visual, auditory, or aesthetic mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and you look talking to somebody who was visual, you would use words like, Can you see what I’m saying here? Can you, you know, get, getting the picture with somebody who was auditory and that it’s, how does that sound to you?

(07:34):

And somebody who’s aesthetic it was, Well, you know, how does, how do you feel about that? And you do that with the people in the room by just looking at them and knowing which one is auditory, visual or kinaesthetic. We were able to do it in the conversation, but now we can take it deeper because of the facial features. Now, if you are talking to your staff in that way, in the way that they want to be spoken to, you’ve got better communication. They understand what you ask them to do. And in that, while you’re focusing on understanding them, you are also building loyalty because they will recognize it un unconsciously at an energetic level. We pick things up. How many times have you walked into a room and gone, Oh, something’s not right here. You can feel it. So, we pick things up energetically.

(08:16):

We know what that person’s like. And so if somebody’s speaking to me in the way that I wanna be spoken to, naturally I’ve got a, a more warmth or affinity towards them. It’s like all your friends who have got similar personalities, they’re our friends because they are similar in the way we think and process. And so you do that with your staff straight away. You’ve got a better position. Your salespeople, if they have the same skills when they’re talking to clients, they’re going to have better connection with them. They’re gonna have greater rapport. It means they’re going to be able to value add to the sales, to be able to convert more sales, and they’ll be able to make a lot more money for the company. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if everyone’s happy, happy in the organization because of the way you speak to them, they’re more productive.

(08:59):

Because when people aren’t happy, productivity drops. In 2016, we had 66% of the workforce, and this was the Gallup research that was done around the western world. 66% of people didn’t want to be at work. 48% were disengaged, but there was another 18% that were actively disengaged. And they were bagging their organizations. They were complaining all the time. They were vocal about it, not just being disconnected and being quiet about it, but very vocal. And so in 2018, the le the increase to 87% of employers were disengaged in their work. And so if they’re not happy in their work, they’re not productive. So, we had managers and he realized they had to put more KPI pressures on the people they had to micromanage. And as soon as you micromanage your staff only do what they have to do to get by and to keep their jobs, but they no have gotta work harder in managing them. So, we forgot about leadership. Now, if you’ve got the leadership and you’re able to speak to the people the way they wanna be spoken to, you’ve got their loyalty, you can go away and they’ll continue working. They’ll strive to make money for the organization because they feel valued. They’ve got a place and they belong.

April Qureshi (10:09):

Yeah.

Alan Stevens (10:10):

It’s pretty simple.

April Qureshi (10:11):

It, it makes me think of someone like Julius Caesar, you know, who was a great leader and he was just able to bring people into his realm just by the way he spoke and the way he engaged with people. And the, the reading that I’ve done on, on Caesar is that, you know, as a military expert as well, he was not just standing from afar and pointing the finger and say, do this, do that. But he was actually in, in the, in the fray.

Alan Stevens (10:44):

That’s it. Right. In the mix.

April Qureshi (10:46):

And I’m, I’m, I’m wondering why I’m bringing this up, but there’s some sort of thread there, and it has to do around creating relationships. And you said to me once that there’s no such thing as a business relationship. That’s right. But everything is, is a personal one. And I think that, you know, when I, when I think of Julius Caesar and I read the stories about him, he, he was creating personal relationships with each and every person, each and every I forget what they were called back then, but his army, his army men, he was creating relationships with them. Right. And so tell us a little bit about your ideas around how every relationship is a, is a personal one.

Alan Stevens (11:32):

Well, first of all, just on the Julius Caesar side of things, he was able to build those relationships. But if he had the extra skills of being able to read the micro expressions and the body language a bit more better, he may have not got stabbed in the back by Mark Anthony. So

April Qureshi (11:48):

<laugh> Yeah. By the Senate. The Senate was a different, a different community there for him. So yeah, that’s it. Yeah, absolutely.

Alan Stevens (11:55):

Yeah. But I know that recently Bill Gates has reported to have said that the one question he didn’t ask himself, but he does ask himself now, he didn’t ask it when he was in Microsoft, was what are my business relationships like? Am I nurturing him? Are they growing because that the work he’s doing now, he needs to have better relationships, but he still didn’t get it. Right. See, business relationships, a business does not talk to another business. The building doesn’t talk to some, another building. It’s the people in the building that are talk or in the business, that talk to people in the other business. And so the end result is everything then becomes a personal relationships. It’s between two people. And if anybody doesn’t agree with that, think about you might have a a leading salesperson in your organization, or a, you know, you might be a finance advisor.

(12:42):

The end result is if that person leaves your company, and they might have a great list of clients, if they leave the company, the list usually follows them. And so that is a personal relationship. They don’t stay with the company because of the company itself. It’s the person that they’re dealing with. Because, and this is why I don’t understand why most people don’t get this, because at the same time, everybody’s talking about the fact that people don’t do a business with you if they don’t know, like, and trust you. That’s a personal relationship. Yeah. And so when you’ve got that solid, solid, then you’re able to build your business. And leading into the coronavirus, excuse me, into the pandemic, there were so many people who were disconnected from their work. And so the companies didn’t have as much money as they could have had going into the pandemic.

(13:32):

And some of those that have shut their door won’t open again because they were living week by week in the first week, they were struggling when the doors were shut. But the ones that had the right attitude with their client or their staff, when they go, we come back out again. They’re the ones that will return the fastest because their staff will be engaged, not only because they’ve got the job back again, and they’re excited with that, but they’re also excited to be in that company. The ones that aren’t satisfied at work, they’re just gonna go back happy. They got their job, and they’re not gonna be as anywhere near as productive as they possibly could be. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s absolutely essential for business leaders to become true business leaders and build those relationships.

April Qureshi (14:14):

Yeah. And I’m, I’m curious if there’s the possibility that there are some relationships that you just can’t build. Like there’s just walls and they just don’t seem to come down. So what’s your experience when that happens? How do you approach that?

Alan Stevens (14:31):

Well, it’s in the way in which you explain it to the other person, how you engage with them. If they think that the only reason you are doing, you, you’re talking to ’em is because you want something out of it. But if you can show and bridge how what you get out of it connects to them getting something out of it as well, then they start to go, Okay, they don’t have to trust you. Because to that level, because, you know, we, if we don’t trust somebody, we’re not gonna do anything with them. But if we realize straight away that they have their, they, their outcomes rely on what we do, then we go, Okay, they’re not gonna get what they want unless I get what I want. So there’s a good chance, then they’re gonna support me. And so that’s how you turn around that.

(15:11):

Over the years I’ve been in different businesses. In the surf club for instance, was a club captain. We had a an examiner who would come along and test everybody. And he didn’t like our club. He had a running with one of the guys, and I’d only just taken the job over. I was only five minutes in the job, so to speak. So I rang him up and said, Look, I know where you live. I’m coming around to have a chat with you. We’ll sit down and have a cup of coffee and we’ll talk this out. By the time I’d left his place, we’d also emptied his beer of the fridge of beer, <laugh>. You know, we just hit it off. Because as I pointed out to him, I said, Look, I’m here to understand why you have a problem with the club. What actually happened.

(15:48):

And I didn’t take sides with either I look for a solution by asking questions. And the fact that he realized that I was looking for a solution, I wasn’t there to just defend the club. We became great friends over the years. And so it’s how you address it with somebody. Find a way in which you can show them that them and what they want to gain themselves is connected to you gaining what you want to gain. They can then trust you because you are not going to get what you want if they don’t get what they want. And so there becomes that trust where it doesn’t have to rely on personality alone.

April Qureshi (16:23):

And I like what you say about the values there, trust and creating relationships with the people and looking for, for solutions. Right? And, and not just trying to back up, you know, your, your one side or or another. And so when we look at those values that come through in, in a relationship where, you know, both sides are getting their needs met, I’m curious what this, this pandemic, this COVID, what are you seeing as far as those values? So what values may have been dropping away since since the, the pandemic started? And what values, if any, new values are emerging that as a society, as a, as a community that we’re starting to recognize on a, on a different level? Mm. What, what are you seeing there?

Alan Stevens (17:24):

Well, leading up to the pandemic, when we were, you know, we were closely related to everybody in the street. The physical distancing wasn’t there. It was, you know, people are just brushing past you in the street. We were so used to having people around us. We went into the physical isolation. And as soon as they added to the problem, first of all, cause they’ve been calling it social or social distancing here in Australia. And that has a negative effect because we are social beings. We need to have other people around us. We need to know they’re there. Whether we interact with ’em or not, we need to know they’re there. And so when they called it social isolation, social distancing, people straight away, unconsciously started to fight that. And that’s why so many people were breaking the rules and getting out there in groups, if they called it physical distancing, which is what it is.

(18:12):

I’ve never been more socially connected to people than I am today, than I had been before. And so it’s been the fact that people now starting to realize, if you notice it on Facebook, there’s less people fighting with each other, less people taking sides on issues. There’s more people having conversations, getting on Zoom, talking to people I hadn’t talk spoken to before. So Skype and Zoom and FaceTime and all those have been very active. So people is realizing that we need other people. So the isolation that the pandemic brought has been a real advantage from that point of view. So hopefully we don’t forget that lesson. And so into the future we’ll realize that yes, those relationships are really necessary. We had time management that came out, you know, the last century, which was all about, you know, cutting down the amount of movement, putting everything close to you, getting rid of the water cooler, where people were wasting time having talks.

(19:05):

Well, when they brought in time management, productivity went up for a little bit, but then dropped dramatically because the conversations you’ll have around the water cooler, 67% of the conversations in an organization that’s highly successful are normal Chit chat. What’d you do on the weekend? You see that movie? What about the football? That chit Chat is, this is where people bond and this is where they decide they want to help and work with each other. So I’m hoping that time management will be put out of the way, because again, I’ve got my printer in another room, I have to walk to it every time I want to get a, a sheet of paper out of it, and that gives me some exercise. Otherwise, I just sit here. And the more I sit at my desk, the more sedentary I become, and the more I then get, it takes me longer to do a task, but if I get up and walk around, move, I can do that task quicker.

(19:56):

So the thing with the isolation moment, I lack that as far as talking to people, but I’m doing these calls on a regular basis, so I’ve got that connection. So hopefully what we’ll see in the in the future is that businesses, especially the managers and leaders, will realize that it’s the connection we have with the other people, which is so important. And they will nurture that. They will encourage people to actually have stop and have a chat. We don’t make money by having talks about spreadsheets. We don’t build those bonds. We build those bonds when we have a chat about things. Now how are the kids going? Because we show an interest in the other person. And so that’s going to be, hopefully something that will happen.

April Qureshi (20:34):

And this is a standing out, in, in a number of the talks that we’re doing during the summit, is that, you know, it’s those, those small touch ins, those small connections, the chit chat that, you know, create community, right? And bring people together. And and so you also talk about not only the relationships with clients and employees, but there’s the suppliers and, you know, our personal and business networks. And you know, I I I’m wondering what’s going on, you know, for you in your, in your realm, your world as far as, you know, because of supply chains of, or, or maybe dropping off, maybe changing and, you know, just keeping, keeping a brass, keeping in touch and communicating. It’s, it’s important all those stakeholders in a business to be to even if, even if there’s a temporary disconnect because of a, a shutdown, that those business relationships are still important. And so how can we begin to you know, reach out and, and, and just, and just communicate how, how, how a business is doing, even though they, they may be struggling.

Alan Stevens (22:06):

Well, first of all, if you’ve got a good relationship with your supplier and your competitor doesn’t, and there’s only a limited amount of stock available, who do you reckon is gonna get the stock? <laugh>? It’s gonna be you. Because you have that relationship with them. you can build that relationship. Now, even if you’re not buying their stock from them, give them a call, ask ’em how the things are going on, you know, what’s happening, What pressures have they got? Are they going to be able to supply when they’re back? You know, we’re able to take supplies back in again. We’re able to operate because you are, the supplies that you receive normally are products that you then sell. If you’re not able to solve that now because you can’t produce it cause of the situation, then you know that we’ll talk to your supplier.

(22:48):

Ask them what problems they’re having from overseas. Get front of mind with them if they, they, they think that you, you know, know that you’ve called them because you’re concerned about them. And by the way, do this genuinely. Don’t just do it to manipulate because people will pick it up. So when you do it, have a chat with ’em and say, Look, how are things going? What’s happening with your suppliers and everything? Tell us, you know, we, you’re getting your, the things that you need from overseas to be able to then pass them on. What’s gonna, what’s gonna be like when you come back on deck again mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And from the point of, yes, I would like to know what’s, how you’re gonna be able to supply me, but really how are you surviving at the moment? What things are you putting in place to get through this period?

(23:24):

And you’re get into conversations. And with that, you’re starting to build rapport because people realize that you care because nobody cares about what you do until they know how much you care in the first place. And so it’s always, everything comes down to a personal relationship. Doesn’t matter what we do in life, the stronger we can build those relationships, the stronger the bonds and the more that we, people are thinking about you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’ve got people who are still sending me clients, you know, years after. I haven’t even spoken to ’em for a long period of time. But the connections we’ve made have been so strong. And I’ve got clients from 10 years ago who are still doing testimonials for me today, simply because of the bond that we had and the response they got out. Because when I work with somebody, my focus is completely on them. It’s not on me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what do they need? Why do they want that? What’s behind that? What’s all the emotional connections to that? And in that I’m, well, I’m finding that information out. They know how much I care about supplying with them with the right service that they need, one that’s tailored directly to them. So the more you focus on the other person in your conversations, the stronger those relationships are going to be and the more they, they’re going to be thinking of you in the future.

April Qureshi (24:36):

And so we’re truly are a global community through this pandemic. We realize that, you know, action here has a, a definite effect across the globe. And that’s it. So you’re, you have an initiative to build a global community. the We Together movement hashtag we together and it’s called The Campfire Project. I’m wondering if you can share, share a little bit about that with us.

Alan Stevens (25:02):

Well, one of the things leading up to, well before this, about two years ago, I was looking at a very closely, and it came a lot from my background as well, things that I went through as I was growing up. And I realized when I was asking men, you know, cuz of all the Me Too movements and the Me Too movements and everything was going on, I thought, you know, how do you feel about things? You know, what, what’s the biggest issue you have? Most people, men would say, Oh, we just don’t understand. We’re confused. And I went confused about what? Well, we don’t know our role in the family. We don’t know our role in the business situation. And so that then causes more frustration. More men are unhappy. If you’re unhappy and frustrated, that’s when violence comes out cuz you feel like you’re being pinned to the wall.

(25:41):

And so I realized that we needed, and I thought about, well, women still have a right of passage to a certain degree because you will talk to each other more. Whereas men, we’ve just withdrawn our cave. We’ve gotta fix the problems. Now we don’t feel that we can share our emotions cuz it’s something that we never really did. We were more about the compassionate empathy. How do we fix the problem? And so we didn’t delve into the emotions, We don’t feel comfortable with emotions. And so I realized that for men, there was no right or passage anymore. But through some connections that I had with the aboriginal community and the journey that I had with them, I realized that, you know, they brought boys into manhood about the age of 14. They would, you know, start to develop them on the way through. The men would be their fathers would get them ready for the manhood and the other men would then take ’em the rest of the way.

(26:29):

And I realized that we don’t have that anymore in most families or 50% of families, roughly, there is no mail there. They’re either divorced so they’re physically absent or they’re emotionally absent because they’re too busy trying to build their business, bring the money into, you know, supply everything. So while they’re focusing on the money, they’re forgetting about the connection they’ve got and they’re disconnecting from their family. And so I thought, right, we need somewhere where men could come along and a safe place where they could then give their share their stories. They give themselves permission. And I realized that me too, and men too all had a, a place to play cuz women had gone through a lot of abuse. And Me Too came out in 2003. But then over a period of time there were a number of women who were falsely accusing men.

(27:15):

And so the men too movement came out into a 2018 to combat that. So each one of them were creating solutions for the day, but then became the problems of tomorrow. And I see men and women fighting all the time or not connecting, not not being able to communicate in the right way. So under we together it means everything we are together. You know, I don’t care about religion, I don’t care about culture, I don’t care about gender or anything else. Anybody who comes into the campfire approach, it only has to have one quality. And that is there to have respectful communications and conversations with each other to treat each other vi with respect and be and receive respect in return. And so the first conversations I had, men were telling their stories. And some, one guy was six years old when his brother sold him for sex.

(28:02):

And those rapes went on for about three years. Another guy was 15 years old, protecting his two younger brothers and sisters while he watched his father stab his mother to death. And so I’d have one on one conversations like we’re having here on Zoom. And then I brought three of those men at a time into panel discussions. So there’s four of us on screen and we talk about issues that were affecting the family. Now, most of the men, if they’d checked the members list in the campfire would’ve realized there were a lot of women in there already. But they gave them a safe place to actually express themselves. And that’s why we heard these stories. But the women were listening to the conversations and especially the panel discussions and sending me personal messages going, Never heard men talk like this before.

(28:43):

We love it. We really want to get involved in the conversations with, we want to enjoy these conversations and how can we get involved? So I, it was part of the plan. I then started interviewing the women and then the women came to the panel discussions. And so we got men and women in panel discussions having what we would call magical respectful conversations. And so this was a way of anything comes up, we work it out together so we don’t need political correctness to, you know, cause further problems where one group complains and everybody else has gotta conform. So, because everybody here wants to have a better relationship. So everyone’s going, Okay, tell me more. Let me understand. I don’t agree with you, but explain to me why you think that way. Right? You’ve been on the panel discussions as well and you know what they’re like. It’s where people can then have those conversations. So I created that and it’s just continually growing. You know, more and more people coming in cuz that’s where everyone’s craving, they’re wanting to be connected and do it in a respectful way without having any fear of having somebody jump on them or people taking sides.

April Qureshi (29:48):

Yeah, it’s beautiful. And so a if there was one tip or one tool that our listeners could walk away with today to help them if they’ve never done facial pattern recognition before, what’s, what’s one thing that, that they can walk away with today that they can use to help learn about where a person’s coming from? when they start up a conversation with them,

Alan Stevens (30:18):

Well, always focus on the fact there was a, an old saying that treat other people as you would have them treat you. You know, it’s, no, that’s not correct. It’s a case of treat the other person as they would have you treat them. So the more that you can understand them, listen to, you don’t have to read their face immediate, yes, read in their face means you’ve got instant information. But watch them watch their behaviours. Watch how they’re talking, look at how they, they appear to be processing information and you’ll get a good understanding then of how they like to process. Therefore you’ve got an idea of how to connect with them. But the more that you focus on them, the focus goes off yourself and the end result is you will feel better about connecting with them. And they will also pick that up as well.

(31:03):

Because when they talk about matching and mirroring people and people try to force it and the other person moves this way, they say they try and do the same thing. If you are connected to somebody with great rapport, you instantly do that without thinking. You watch two people who are having a real good time and laughing and sitting and talking with one moves the other one’s moving, but it doesn’t look like they’re watching each other. They’re just in unison because they got that connection. So the more that you can connect with the other person by focusing on them, you all the matching and mirroring will just become natural. They will pick that up and you’ll have a stronger bond straightaway. But focus on the other person always. But remember too that anything you hear, you might think, well this stuff is bit woo woo and everything else. I’ve got an attitude that the most important thing I’ll ever learn is the next thing I learn after. I think I know everything. So I’m always learning all the time. I’m always testing things. You hear something, don’t just discount it. Go well how could that work? Do a bit of checking. Cause you never know what you’re going to learn in the process.

April Qureshi (32:02):

That’s great advice, Alan. And so if our listeners today wanted to connect with you, reach out to you and get to know you a little better about the work that you do and just maybe on a personal level, where can they get in contact with you?

Alan Stevens (32:18):

Well, the quickest way is to get in through my website and they’ll be able to see all the success stories where people are talking about what they’ve got out of using the skills. And that’s Alan stevens.com au, Alan, a l a n, Stevens, s c e v e n s.com.au for Australia. And they can contact me through their website there as well. Or I’m on LinkedIn under cuz when I first started this, the media were calling me the Celebrity Profiler and reading faces with the other terms. So if you search in LinkedIn Reading Faces or Alan Stevens, you’ll find me there. And if you look at Facebook Celebrity or Reading Faces, you’ll find my business page and personal pages. So yep. Wanna connect with me? Please do. And check out the Campfire project. Best way there is go to my main page on Facebook and you’ll find it talks about or add, what I call it, discussions about the different panel discussions in there, Little ads that’ll point you in the direct direction.

April Qureshi (33:20):

Awesome. Great. And so we’ll have links to all of Alan’s his free gift and his links to all his programs associated with this video. Check the speaker notes and click on those links and get on, get in contact with Alan. and Alan, I just wanna thank you for joining us today and sharing your insights on you know, in, you know, profiling and being able to read people’s face and, and more importantly just using that as a communication and connection tool.

Alan Stevens (33:52):

Thank you very much. Really been enjoyable. Thank you.

April Qureshi (33:56):

Thank you for tuning in to the Leader Lounge Community podcast. If you enjoyed this episode today, be sure to hit follow and share with your friends and community. Until next time, I’m April Qureshi. Bye for now.

Originally broadcast in May 2020 during the Lead From Within Global Leadership Summit at the onset of the global pandemic. My purpose for republishing is that the value of the conversations with leading experts from around the globe is still relevant and will continue to be a touchstone for empowering business and community leaders with innovation and compassion during challenging times.