How to Profile a Person or a Business through Their Home or Office
Look for the ‘primary driver’ – a symbol which the homeowner has put in his or her space. It will set the tone for how they live. It will be close to or visible from the entrance. For instance, if there is a table near the entry door, look at what’s on that table. If it’s covered with a variety of things, especially things which aren’t used, the guest is being given the message: “My life is full. There are lot of different things going on in my life; therefore, I don’t really have a lot of time for you in my life.” This table sets the tone for the visitor putting them on notice; since the person already has so much taking their time and attention, the visitor is not going to be a major part of that.
What’s in the picture?
If there is artwork hanging notice the view it provides; is it an open expansive one, a nature scene? An expansive vista communicates a sense of welcome—i.e., there is room for you here.
Are there people in the picture? Are they having fun? Or is it a person on their own? What are they doing? Who are they? Do they seem pleased or are they in danger? Are there people in the picture? These signals are easy to read. It will strike a cord in you. Does the picture make you feel good or feel cut off?
A picture of the homeowner and their pet tells you my pet is an important part of my life.
Are they standing or are they sitting? If the homeowner is standing in the picture they are saying, come in let’s be active, let’s do things. If they’re sitting, it’s saying, come in and relax.
Allow the theme of the picture to tell you a story about the homeowner’s psychology. While he or she may not be an eighteenth century farmer hunched over hoeing his field, there is a resonance between the homeowner and the painting or it wouldn’t be on display. Put on your metaphoric thinking cap to speculate on what the connection might be. There are many possible interpretations. For instance, it may represent a wish for a simpler time or way of life; or, it may indicate what a hard worker the person is.
Profiling is best done when you’ve gathered information to form a composite picture of the person. Don’t jump to conclusions about a person based on one picture.
The story’s frame
Notice the frame of the picture. If the frame is heavy compared to the size of the picture, is suggestive of a barrier around the picture. It tells you that you are being welcomed but the welcome is limited for the person is guarded in some way. If the frame is in proportion to the picture, the message is my house is your house, come in and make yourself comfortable.
Profiling a person or a firm through the business setting
The business setting can give you clues about the firm whether you are seeking a job or to do business with them.
Be alert to what you see when you first arrive. What do you see when you first enter the firm’s location? This is the first thing they are communicating to you. Do you feel welcomed or tolerated? Is the setting well cared for or in poor condition with worn furniture, scuffed walls, soiled carpeting? The setting is a clear indication of how those who run the firm regard the work, the employees, or the customers.
Once inside the job interviewee should look at the wall behind the interviewer. Taking a page from the ancient Chinese art of placement, Feng Shui, it is wise to look at the far right hand portion of this wall, as well as the far left hand portion. Each area correlates to a particular aspect of business. In the far left hand area, referred to as the ‘power’ or ‘fortunate blessings’ section, see what kinds of icons or items are there, for they tell you where this person gets his or her power from. Pictures of the family say their power comes from their familial relationships. Diplomas in this area, tell you they get their power from their educational achievements.
The contents of the right hand area, referred to as the ‘relationship’ area, will reveal how they relate to their co-workers or those with whom they do business with. Stacks of work papers in this section indicates a low level of interpersonal relating per se and a greater relationship to the work itself. A mask on the wall reveals a tendency to conceal a part of themselves in relationship.
Using the tools of Feng Shui to dissect a room will assist you in profiling the firm. Each area of any space is governed by a resonance with areas of our lives. There are valid scientific reasons for why this is so. To dissect the room first do a quick sketch of it and then draw over it a 9 square grid – like a tic tac toe box over the room with the door being at the bottom of the grid. Each one of the nine areas relates to an aspect of the business.
We have looked at two of the nine areas and now will look at one more: the center area on the far left hand wall, which will show us how this person or this firm relates to their community of co-workers, clients or vendors. Since community is a collection of persons, this area should have multiples in it: stacks of paper, business cards, awards that relate to community, pictures of numerous people… A single item or an image with a single item could indicate a lack of connection to community, which spells trouble for a business.
In sum, to profile a person or a business, think of their setting as a story book you’re going to read. The contents within a specific context tell a story about your subject. Be on the alert for contents which are repeated throughout the setting, such as a theme you see running through a host of pictures. Be equally on the look out for anomalies or a break in the pattern within the setting. Is only one office a mess in an otherwise neat suit of offices? Your job is to figure out why and in so doing to compose your profile.