Don’t make that face at me

Given the passing of Stuart Scott yesterday (and if you grew up interested in American sports at all you grew up watching him), we’re talking about the intersection of sports and science again today.

The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks hired a facial coding expert to help them draft wisely this past year. The team had the 2nd overall pick and selected Jabari Parker from Duke.

Also the subject of a short-lived drama series on FOX known as Lie to Me, the art and science of facial coding involves mapping the facial expressions created by humans and their 43 different facial muscles to ascertain everything from truth-telling to emotional maturity.

In this short video, Dan Hill talks about what he looks for on behalf of the Bucks that will suggest to him whether that player will have a successful career; looking for clues that will betray his work ethic, his approach to listening and learning, and even the expected impact of anxiety.

So, how does this relate to us? Well, if nothing else, it should remind us to be more observant of the body language of our peers, colleagues, customers, and anyone with whom we have a relationship. As the expert in this video notes, even the unsighted emote in the same way and a lot can be learned by simply paying better attention.

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