cover image Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction

Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction

Robin Dreeke. Penguin, $27 (260p) ISBN 978-0-525-54043-4

Former FBI agent Dreeke (The Code of Trust) shares his six signs of behavior prediction, based on his time in the agency’s Behavior Analysis Program, in this helpful pop-psychology guide. Dreeke takes deep dives into each behavior concept—Vesting (being invested in another person’s success), Longevity, Reliability, Actions, Language, and Stability—to explore the roots of behavior. He finds people who lack stability are often unable to “handle the challenge of seeing inside themselves.” He sometimes pairs his points with career anecdotes, illustrating longevity by recounting how he built a lasting relationship with an informant, despite initial mutual suspicion, who helped the U.S. avert a potential nuclear showdown. Dreeke’s insights are widely applicable beyond the world of counterespionage and crime-fighting, and include signs for identifying unreliable or untrustworthy people in one’s everyday life, such as the “tell” of chronic lateness. He also provides tips on cementing lasting bonds with others—“ritualize the relationship,” because “rituals memorialize moments”—and determining that bosses or co-workers are “vested” in one’s success—for instance, they “tell you something they’ve never told anyone else.” Dreeke’s to-the-point style, humility, and occasional flashes of humor make for an enjoyable and illuminating work. (Jan.)