Brian Abe

In the world of video marketing communication and video story telling I spend a lot of time studying facial and body language. In my previous life as a leader and mentor of teams I used this ability to screen and hire our producers, editors and video communications teams. After making hundreds of phone calls and pouring over hundred’s of resume’s and demo reels to fill critical roles nothing was more fulfilling than putting a potential team member in a room with 4-5 of their peers and watch the non-verbal communication. Sometimes I would delay the meeting just to ‘watch’ was what going on. It was really valuable (and worth it) to treat the final round candidates to lunch with their spouse and watch the interaction with their potential future team mates. Priceless! The main purpose for this meeting is to watch current team members and how they accept the new incoming hire. Little glances and checking with others will give you most of what you need to know. I would always followup individually to hear what concerns each of our team members had with the potential employee. It’s a valuable tool for hiring and building trust in your team. I truly valued their input!

It’s not cruel, as some have said, considering that the senior producer I’m hiring will be sitting in a screening room or edit suite with the CEO or directing other C-suite level leaders. They better know how to interact with their peers comfortably. I expect them to know how to defend their video creation and without sweating.

Leaders would do well to cultivate this special gift to build teams. If I’m speaking to someone face to face I can normally tell what they think of the people surrounding them by their body language. Are their eyes focused, do they position themselves toward the one they’re addressing or someone more important. Of course we use all the typical body language signals that we’ve all learned in leadership roles. It sounds a bit arrogant, however I’ve used ‘the gift’ in private life and to lead others. If you’ve been in a leadership role for more than 10 years, great news, you probably have the gift too!

The plot thickens. . .

With regard to video storytelling the smallest tilt of the head, blink of the eyes or movement of the hands sends a message or change in direction of the discussion. Combined with voice inflection and sentence structure I have everything I need to make a sound decision. I ask my team members to watch and listen to content and body language changes as well. In the video communication world our job is to tell the story using the best camera angles, lighting, audio and graphics at the right time. It works for all sorts of everyday life, especially as you do everything you can to influence others and do things that matter. Video communication teams, ask your people to pay attention to what is NOT being said and craft an even better story! Non-profit organizations would do well to pay special attention to their volunteer teams. Take your people watching skills to a new level.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About Author

Brian Abe
Brian Abe

Brian Abe is an award-winning visual story teller, producer, multi-camera director, editor and leader of creative teams.

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