Read Them Like a Book (Part 1)

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You’ve likely heard, or even been told, “I can read you like a book.”  The meaning behind this phrase implies you are able to understand someone’s thoughts and motives easily or clearly.

Knowing how to read people is an important leadership skill. In business, as in life, behaviour affects everything.

So, what exactly is behaviour?

Behaviour is defined as the way a person acts or behaves. Corporate behaviour relates to the structure a company has provided for itself and its employees to improve effectiveness.

The power behind psychology in the workplace cannot be underestimated in today’s work environment. Building a healthy culture is an enduring process that starts with understanding why your people behave as they do.  If businesses what to stay ahead of the curve they must fully grasp the individual and collective impact of human behaviour.

To understand how to influence behaviour in your business, you must understand what behaviour is and the science behind it.

Behaviour can be developed through three major components: psychology, sociology, and anthropology.


Basically, psychology is the study of the human mind with a major focus on behaviour.

With the use of psychology, it is possible to sometimes change a person’s behaviour. Psychology mainly deals with emotions, personality, and perception. It’s like an onion; it has many layers.

There are various fields in psychology, many of which could be applied to a business setting:

  • Training/Learning
  • Engagement/Motivation
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Decision Making
  • Leadership
  • Stress


Sociology is the study of society, social relationships and institutions. Social psychology mixes concepts from psychology and sociology that focus on the influences people have on one another. It shows us how we relate to each other as a group.

Some ways sociology affects people are through:

  • Attitude
  • Group Processes
  • Group Decision-Making
  • Communication


Anthropology is the study of humans and their cultures. Understanding different cultures and traditions helps make the workplace a stronger unit. Without this understanding, we are alienating those employees who may be from different backgrounds.

With a better understanding of behaviour, the next post offers some benefits that will result in a more positive work environment.