An ancient skill to succeed in modern business: Face reading (feat. Eric Standop)

Mar 30, 2021

If you are in contract negotiations with a Chinese-owned business, and there are more than three people on the other side of the room, chances are one of them is a face reader, says my guest, Eric Standop, who is a facial diagnostics expert.

So, what is face reading?

To some degree, we all do it every day in our interactions with people.  We call it reading body language.  But it’s specifically the face that can tell us so much about what a person is thinking, feeling and wanting. We all want more information than words can tell us; and we are programmed to look at faces for social cues.


A “face reader,” someone skilled in dissecting the details of our expressions, can help decipher people’s true motivations and intentions.


In our latest episode of The Enlightened Executive, I talk with Founder of the Face Reading Academy and facial diagnostics expert Eric Standop about his skill in face reading for success in your career, relationships, health and business.

In this fascinating conversation, Eric will explain how face reading is being used around the world in negotiations, assessing leadership and helping leaders find their purpose. He’ll share stories of how he has helped business leaders in hiring decisions, M&A due diligence, as well as coaching executives to find their true motivations.

Humans have been using face reading as a communication tool for hundreds of thousands of years. In fact, before we as a species developed language, people communicated via face reading to understand others’ personalities, talents, and feelings.

An application of face reading used today is in hiring or negotiations within Asian companies. When Chinese leaders hire for their businesses, they may be less interested in a candidate’s resumé than western counterparts, and rather want to know: Is this candidate reliable? Will they be loyal? Will they have a natural talent for the role they are applying for? All of these questions can be answered with face reading.


But how does it work, exactly? There are three fundamental aspects of the face to observe:

  • Features: The eyes and the mouth are people’s most expressive features, and the most important for face reading. They are what we are wired to look at first.
  • Micro-expressions: Muscle movement in the face is very expressive, because the facial muscles are directly connected to the brain via the facial nerve. So, whatever is happening in someone’s brain, you can see it in their face. They can’t hide it, even if they try it is difficult to sustain for a long time. Did you know the face is capable of showing over 20,000 micro-expressions?
  • Gestures: Observe subconscious gestures — like the hand meeting the face. Body language can be faked — it’s even possible to train your body language to appear a certain way — but gestures cannot be consciously managed as they are controlled by the nervous system.

Skilled face readers are taught how to read features, micro-expressions and gestures and decipher patterns among all three.


So what can Western executives gain from adopting face reading practice in their organizations?


When used effectively as a strategy for understanding people, face reading can help leaders hire great employees that will help their companies thrive.

Reading faces can also help you get the best deal in negotiations. A skilled face reader can easily see through a “poker face,” by observing subconscious micro-expressions. This can give decision-makers additional information about people they are planning to partner with.

Face readers can also help companies to identify problems in their team dynamics and find solutions to create more productive, happier and healthier teams.

Finally, face reading can also help people to understand themselves on a deeper, subconscious level, and ultimately, to find their higher purpose in life.


Are you ready to clearly see and understand yourself and your organization?


To check out more resources on the application of Face Reading in business, visit or pick up Eric’s book Read the Face.

Susan Drumm, executive podcast host
Susan is a CEO Advisor and Leadership Coach with over 20 years of experience leading teams and senior executives to achieve their potential.

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